Arizona's Aggressive Driving Laws
What are “Aggressive Driving” Laws?
Aggressive Driving Laws were created to provide increased regulation and safety of highways and roadways. Aggressive driving may be defined as “operating a motor vehicle in such a manner that endangers persons or property”. Many states have enacted aggressive driving statutes that enforce criminal penalties for persons who engage in aggressive driving.
Aggressive driving has been recognized as a danger to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. It usually involves a deliberate endangering of people or property. Thus, aggressive driving laws commonly result in more serious legal consequences than with reckless driving charges.
What are the Terms of Arizona’s Aggressive Driving Law?
Arizona has enacted an aggressive driving law that prohibits aggressive driving. According to the statute, a driver commits aggressive driving if the person:
- Exceeds a “reasonable and prudent speed” on the highway, or
- Exceeds a prescribed speed limit in designated areas including business and residential areas, school crossing zones, and
- Drives in a manner that causes an immediate hazard to other persons or their property
The main focus of Arizona’s aggressive driving law is the “immediate hazard” provision. Thus, even if a person is driving within the posted speed limit, they could still be charged with aggressive driving if their driving endangers the safety of others.
Additionally, aggressive driving charges can be filed in Arizona if two of the following violations occur:
- Failing to obey traffic control devices (i.e., traffic signals)
- Overtaking or passing another vehicle on the right by driving off of the pavement or main traveled area of the road
- Performing an unsafe lane change
- Following another vehicle too closely (“tailgating”)
- Failing to yield the right of way
What does “Excessive Speed” mean under Arizona’s Aggressive Driving Statute?
According to the state of Arizona’s Aggressive Driving statute, “excessive speed” may mean:
- Exceeding 35 miles per hour (mph) at a school crossing
- Exceeding the posted speed limit by more than 20 mph in a residential or business district
- Exceeding 45 mph in a residential or business district where no speed limit is posted
- Exceeding 85 mph in other locations
Also, “reasonable and prudent” speed limits for the designated areas means:
- 15 mph when approaching a school crossing
- 25 mph in a residential or business district
- 65 mph in any other location
What are the Penalties for Aggressive Driving in Arizona?
A person who is convicted of aggressive driving in Arizona is guilty of a Class 1 Misdemeanor. This will result in the following legal penalties:
- Suspension of driver’s license for 30 days upon conviction
- Required attendance in an approved traffic school and educational session (this is required to improve the safety habits of offenders)
- Any other penalties prescribed by law, such as fines or incarceration
A second conviction for aggressive driving within 24 months of the first conviction will result in a driver’s license suspension for 1 year, and possibly more severe penalties.
Do I need to hire a Lawyer for Aggressive Driving charges in Arizona?
As you may be able to tell, aggressive driving is punished very severely in the state of Arizona. Violations of aggressive driving laws may result in criminal penalties that may be permanent on one’s record. If you are facing aggressive driving charges, you may wish to hire a criminal lawyer. Arizona criminal attorneys can provide much needed advice and representation when dealing with charges for aggressive driving.
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Last Modified: 04-20-2011 12:18 PM PDT