Racing on the Highway: Arizona’s Laws


Racing on the Highway: Arizona’s Laws

Arizona’s many wide-open roads may seem to lend themselves to vehicle racing. However, regardless of whether the highway lanes are largely empty or busy with traffic, Arizona prohibits vehicles from racing on any street or highway.

According to A.R.S. 28-708, a person may not drive a vehicle or participate in any manner in the following ways:

  • Any manner of race.
  • Speed competitions or contests.
  • Drag races.
  • Acceleration contests.
  • Tests of physical endurance.
  • Exhibitions of speed or acceleration.
  • For the purposes of making a speed record.

According to state law, “racing” is defined as the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to outgain or outdistance another vehicle or prevent another vehicle from passing.

A “drag race” is likewise defined as the operation of two or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other or the operation of one or more vehicles over a common selected course and from the same point for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of the vehicle or vehicles within a certain distance or time limit.

Racing Penalties

Violations of this statute are a class 1 misdemeanor, which can result in incarceration of up to six months.

Those convicted of a second or subsequent violation within two years of the original conviction will be guilty of a class 6 felony. This can result in incarceration of up to two years for a first-time offender. Moreover, the offender will not be eligible for probation, pardon, suspension of sentence or release on any other basis until the person has served not less than ten days in jail or prison.

Aiding or abetting another person in the commission of a racing violation will be guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor, resulting in up to four months of incarceration. A second violation within two years is a class 1 misdemeanor, resulting in up to six months of incarceration.

Additionally, first-time offenders of these laws can be fined up to $250 and be ordered to perform community restitution. Subsequent violations may result in the offender being fined up to $500, with additional community restitution time.

Offenders may have their driving privileges revoked by a judge for up to 90 days. Subsequent offenses can result in these privileges being revoked for up to one year.

The Arizona Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) can also assess 8 points against the offender’s permanent driving record. This can require the offender to attend Traffic Survival School or have their license suspended for up to 12 months.



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