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DUI charges in Arizona can result in harsh penalties when people are convicted, depending on their blood alcohol concentrations at the time of their arrests and their driving records. Arizona has a seven-year lookback period for DUIs, which means that the state will charge you with a second-offense DUI if you have a prior DUI conviction within the last seven years.

Some people who are charged with DUIs might wonder how other types of traffic violations might affect their DUI penalties.

Having previous traffic convictions unrelated to DUIs might still affect the points assessment from the Arizona Department of Transportation and result in a longer period of suspension, depending on the total points accumulated during the previous 12 months or 36 months.

The biggest takeaway from this article is to keep in mind how your current driving record reflects the penalties if you are ever charged with a new DUI. For example, if you have had 2 major violations within the last 7 years such as DUI, Aggressive Driving, or Reckless driving, your punishment will include a loss of your driving license for 1 year.  However, it may be possible to get a restricted license.

Are you charged with a DUI and have previous traffic violations?
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Or, Continue Reading Below About:
Can Previous Traffic Violations Affect a New DUI Charge?

Arizona Points Assessment

When people are found guilty of moving violations in Arizona, points will be assessed against their driver’s licenses. The number of points that will be assessed for civil and criminal traffic offenses includes the following:

    • DUI (alcohol or drugs) – 8 points
    • Extreme DUI (BAC 15% or higher) – 8 points
    • Aggravated DUI – 8 points
    • Reckless driving – 8 points
    • Aggressive driving – 8 points
    • Hit-and-run accident – 6 points
    • Failing to stop at a stop sign or stop light or failing to yield the right-of-way resulting in death – 6 points
    • Failing to stop at a stoplight or stop sign, or failing to yield the right-of-way, causing serious injury – 4 points
    • Speeding (civil or criminal) – 3 points
    • Parking in or driving over a gore area – 3 points
    • All other moving violations – 2 points

Effect of Accumulating too Many Points

Accumulating too many points within 12 or 36 months can result in an additional suspension of your license or mandatory attendance at a traffic survival school. It only takes a single eight-point offense to result in a suspension of your driving privileges or an order to attend traffic survival school.

For the points system with the ADOT, the two relevant time frames are the last 12 or 36 months. If you accumulate from eight to 12 points in the most recent 12 months, the state will either order you to attend traffic survival school or suspend your license for 90 days.

If you are eligible for traffic survival school and have not attended it in the last two years, a license suspension can be avoided if you are ordered to attend traffic survival school and complete it. If you are not eligible for traffic survival school, your license will be suspended for 90 days.

If you accumulate from 13 to 17 points in the most recent 12 months, your driving privileges will be suspended for 90 days. If you accumulate from 18 to 23 points in 12 months, your driver’s license will likely be suspended for six months.

The second relevant time frame is within the past 36 months. If you accumulate 24 or more points in the past 36 months, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year.

It is important to note that the state calculates points during a specific period by the date of the violation instead of the date of the entry of judgement of guilt or responsibility.

When Will Points Be Assessed?

Points will only be assessed once you have been found guilty or responsible for a moving violation. A finding that you have committed a civil traffic violation is referred to as being responsible, and a finding that you have committed a criminal traffic violation is referred to as guilty.

Once you have been found guilty or responsible for a traffic violation, the court will send the judgment to the state, which normally occurs within 24 hours. The violation will then be added to your driving record.

While the violation and its points will be added to your driving record when the state receives notice of it, the date that will be listed on your driving record will be the violation date. You will need to keep track of the points assessed against your license for different types of violations.

Do Points on My Driving Record Ever Expire?

Many people wonder whether points drop off of their driving records or expire. Before April 2020, points did not appear on a driver’s motor vehicle record, but they now do.

Traffic violations appear on a driver’s MVR indefinitely. However, the relevant time periods for points that have been assessed are the most recent 12 or 36 months.

After 12 months have passed, the impact of points will decline. When violations are older than 36 months, the points do not have an impact, but the violations will still be listed on the MVR.

You can request your 39-month motor vehicle record on the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department’s website here to check how many points you have accumulated on your license in the past 12 or 36 months. A 39-month MVR should include everything that might affect your driver’s license status.

Impact of Prior Traffic Violations on a First or Second DUI Offense

Under ARS 28-1381, prosecutors can only plead past DUI, extreme DUI, or aggravated DUI convictions that have occurred in the past seven years. The statute does not provide anything for judges to consider about other types of traffic offenses within the past seven years.

Instead, if you are convicted of a first time DUI, you will face the same penalties as others who are also convicted of first-offense regular DUI.

These penalties include the following:

  • Minimum of 10 days in jail, but nine days can be suspended with the completion of an alcohol assessment and treatment
  • Possible probation of up to three years
  • $250+ fine
  • Additional assessments of $1,000
  • At least 90 days driver’s license suspension up to 360 days
  • The court can order community service hours

If you are convicted of a second DUI conviction within seven years with one prior allegeable DUI offense, you will face the following penalties:

  • From 30 to 90 days in jail
  • 12-month license revocation
  • 30 hours of community service
  • $500+ fine
  • Additional assessments of $2,500
  • Ignition interlock device for at least 12 months
  • Alcohol assessment and treatment

While prior traffic violations within 12 to 36 months will affect the total points accumulated on your driver’s license, they are not considered to be allegeable offenses and will not affect the DUI penalties.

How Prior Traffic Violations Can Add to Points Total

How your past traffic offenses might combine with your DUI to affect your total points and suspension period will depend on what your previous traffic violations were and when they occurred in relation to the date of your DUI offense.

For example, if you have two speeding tickets within the past 12 months followed by a DUI, you will accumulate a total of 14 points on your license within a 12-month period. This is because speeding is a 3-point offense, and a DUI is an eight-point offense.

Accumulating from 13 to 17 points in the most recent 12 months results in a 90-day suspension of your license.

If you have another eight-point violation within the past 12 months, such as reckless driving, you will receive another eight points for the DUI offense. This would mean that you would have a total accumulation of 16 points on your driver’s license and would receive an automatic 90-day suspension of your privileges for points accumulation.

You could also be assessed a 90-day suspension for a first DUI conviction as well as the reckless driving conviction since both are eight-point offenses.

If you have a previous reckless driving conviction within the past 12 months and are subsequently convicted of a second DUI offense, you would still accumulate 16 points on your license within 12 months, which would result in a 90-day suspension based on points accumulation.

However, you would also face a 12-month revocation of your license for the second DUI conviction, and the suspension and revocation periods would be consecutive to each other.

Figuring out how accumulated points might affect your license when you are facing a DUI charge can be tricky. If you fight your DUI charge and are successful, the DUI should not add to your total accumulated points.

The attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta can review your Motor Vehicle Record and the evidence in your current DUI case to explain what might happen to your license and the other penalties you might face if you are convicted of a DUI. Call us today at (602) 825-2500.

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Real Client Reviews

Below are just a few of what our clients have to say!

Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“The calm in the middle of my storm…”

I, recently, consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again, however, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.

Frank - AVVO Review

Divorce / Reconciliation Client
Attorney David Maletta

“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”

I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.

Jacob - AVVO Review

DUI Defense Client
Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”

Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!

Chris - AVVO Review

Child Custody & Support Client
Attorney David Maletta

“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”

Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trial… Watching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.

Gregory - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”

I had an incident and was Given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at was answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future and as of right now they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.

Dylan - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Listens to every request that you make on a case”

I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.

Ben - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
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