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Dealing with an Arizona Suspended License
Most Arizona residents can handle a traffic ticket or two. Granted, we should all drive safely all of the time, but sometimes mistakes happen. If these mistakes continue to occur and Arizona traffic tickets become a regular pattern for you, the state will deem you a hazard to yourself and other drivers... and will take away your driving privileges altogether.
First, let's determine the difference between a license suspension and a revocation. Having your license suspended means that you will not be allowed to operate a vehicle with your current driver's license for a designated period of time. It carries the implication that you will earn back the right to use your license after you have significantly changed your driving habits. Revocation, on the other hand, is a permanent loss of your driving privileges under your current license. After you have completed all of your requirements for your conviction, you will have to apply for a brand new driver's license and take a driving test all over again.
The state of Arizona does not take driver responsibility lightly, and is one of the harshest in terms of license suspension. You can have your driving privileges suspended or revoked for any of the following reasons:
- DUI or Extreme DUI
- Vehicular aggravated assault or homicide
- Failure to pay Arizona traffic ticket fines
- 2 or more reckless driving convictions
- Highway racing
- Failure to take a chemical test
- Accumulation of 8 license points within 12 months
In addition to license suspension, all of these convictions will also carry with them various fines and penalties that you will need to pay before getting your license reinstated.
While all suspensions are bad, there are different levels of other penalties you may be assessed based upon what you've been convicted for. A violation for driving under the influence or breaking DUI or DWI laws has different penalties than that for aggressive driving.
- A first DUI conviction will result in 8 points to your license, a fine of at least $1,250, a 10-day jail sentence, and community service.
- A second DUI conviction will result in a jail sentence of at least 90 days, a fine of at least $3,000, and additional community service.
- A 30-day aggressive driving suspension will also carry mandatory traffic school; if you are convicted of a second offense, your license will be revoked for 12 months.
A license revocation typically lasts 1-3 years. If you do end up having your license revoked, you will need to complete the application process once again.
Arizona has two different options for license reinstatement, depending upon the severity of your crime and what your judge feels is adequate for your particular circumstances.
- A defensive driving course is a Supreme Court-approved program which will refresh you on the basics of safe driving, and will help you prevent or remove points from your driving record. This will likely be the option given if your suspension is due to too many points.
- A Traffic Survival School is a more intensive program designed for habitual or serious traffic offenders who have not shown dedication to reforming their ways.
If you choose to take your chances and drive on an Arizona suspended license, be prepared to face some major consequences if you're caught. Expect your vehicle to be impounded for up to 30 days. You'll also have your suspension extended, and possibly turned into a complete revocation of your privileges.