If you’ve received a traffic ticket or two, you might be wondering how many points you are allowed on your license in Arizona. Understanding the state’s point system can help you make safer driving choices and avoid penalties like required defensive driving classes or even license suspension.
Since different point values lead to different penalties, it can be hard to tell how many points you can accumulate until the consequences become serious. Fortunately, the Phoenix car accident attorneys at Zanes Law are thoroughly familiar with Arizona’s point system and can help you understand it too.
Understanding Arizona’s License Point System
In Arizona, you get points on your license when you’re found guilty of a moving violation. A moving violation is a civil or criminal traffic violation, the most common of which is speeding. Sometimes, law enforcement will let minor offenders off with a warning. However, if you’ve committed a more serious traffic violation, you could get a ticket or several points.
To understand Arizona’s system and determine how many more points you’re allowed on your license until you’ll get hit with an inconvenient penalty, you’ll need to know how many points each moving violation is worth.
Here’s how many points you can expect to receive for different types of violations:
- Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit generally results in an addition of three points to your license.
- Crossing or parking in the Gore Area: The Gore Area is the triangular space between the lanes of a highway and the exit or entrance ramp. Parking or driving in this area can be dangerous and can result in an addition of three points to your license.
- Failing to stop or yield and causing a serious injury: This violation generally results in four points.
- Failing to stop or yield and causing a fatal collision: Causing a fatal accident is a serious offense. In addition to criminal and civil consequences, this violation can add six points to your license.
- Fleeing the scene of an accident: Hit and runs are not tolerated in Arizona and can result in six points added to your license.
- Driving aggressively or recklessly: When you drive aggressively or recklessly, you jeopardize the safety of others and risk having eight points added to your license.
- Driving under the influence: Driving under the influence can lead to severe and fatal accidents, not to mention an addition of eight points to your license.
- Other moving violations: In general, other moving violations are worth two points.
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Penalties for Accruing Points on Your License in Arizona
Arizona law allows drivers to accrue a certain number of points until they have to face consequences. Depending on how many points you have, you may have to deal with a number of different penalties. The penalties for different point values are as follows:
- 8 to 12 points over the span of 12 months: 1-month license suspension or take a traffic class
- 13 to 17 points over the span of 12 months: 3-month license suspension
- 18 to 23 points over the span of 12 months: 6-month license suspension
- 24 or more points over the span of 36 months: 12-month license suspension
Traffic School Penalty
In some situations, you may be able to take a traffic survival school (TSS) class instead of having your license suspended. A traffic court may allow you to take a TSS class if you’ve accrued eight or more points in the past 12 months or committed one of the following violations:
- Moving violations committed when you were under the age of 18
- Moving violations that involved severe injury or a fatality
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Running a red light
It’s important to note that taking a TSS class will not help you avoid a license suspension if you were charged with a DUI. To learn more about the TSS classes you can take, refer to the Traffic Survival School Administration.
How to Avoid Having Points Added to Your License
While there’s nothing you can do to remove points that have already been added to your license, you can take a couple of actions to avoid accruing points in the first place. Consider taking the following actions to prevent excessive points from costing you your license for a year or more:
Take a Defensive Driving Class
Taking a defensive driving class can help you avoid being charged for a traffic offense or even prevent points from being added to your license due to a conviction. That said, taking a class can only help you avoid the consequences of certain moving violations.
In addition, defensive driving classes can’t prevent consequences for commercial driver’s license holders in Arizona, and they can’t protect you from license suspension if you’ve already taken a class in the past year.
Driving Safely and Following Traffic Laws
It might go without saying, but the easiest way to avoid getting points added to your license is to practice proper driving safety and obey traffic laws. Doing so will help you prevent accidents, serious injuries, accident-related expenses, moving violation convictions, and license points.
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Check How Many Points You Have on Your License
Knowing where you stand in terms of points on your license can help you avoid exceeding the number of points you’re allowed until you have to face consequences. To check how many points you have, refer to the Arizona Department of Transportation’s motor vehicle records.
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Our Team Is Here to Help You After an Accident in Arizona
Knowing how many points you’re allowed on your license in Arizona can help you avoid inconvenient penalties and license suspensions. Taking safety measures and traffic classes can also help you avoid a traffic incident, but it can only do so much to protect you from a negligent driver.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by another motorist, you’re probably not worrying about points on your license. Instead, you’re likely wondering how you’ll get the compensation you need to repair your car and cover your medical expenses.
Fortunately, the team at Zanes Law can help you seek damages for your accident-related losses. They can help you pursue compensation even if you were partially at fault for the collision. Contact our firm today to find out more about your rights following a traffic accident.
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