Operation in violation of restriction, what does that mean?
A.R.S. 28-3480(A) says “A person who operates a motor vehicle in violation of a driver license restriction is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.” A person’s driver license may have certain restrictions on what a person may drive or under what circumstances a person may drive. Examples include:
Restricted instruction permit. When a person first applies for a license, they may apply for a restricted instruction permit. This involves passing the written test but not a road test. The purpose of this permit is to give the driver legal access to a vehicle to practice driving under certain circumstances. One of the restrictions of a restricted instruction permit is the driver must be accompanied by an approved instructor in the passenger seat. If the person holding the restricted instruction permit decides to drive without the instructor, they could be charged with operating a vehicle in violation of restriction.
Instruction permit. This is very similar to a restricted instruction permit, except that instead of being accompanied by a certified instructor when driving, the permit holder must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age. Here again, if the person holding the restricted permit decides to drive without the licensed driver, they could be charged with operating a vehicle in violation of restriction.
Special ignition interlock restricted driver license. If a person has their privilege to drive suspended due to a DUI conviction or the service of an admin per se affidavit, they may apply for a special ignition interlock restricted driver license. Such a license allows the driver to drive to and from work, school, and a few other limited locations. If the driver goes somewhere else, like a cross-country trip, then they could be charged with driving in violation of a license restriction.
And many more. There are numerous restrictions covering all sorts of circumstances, from the types of vehicles a person may drive, to when and where a person may drive, to the type of equipment that must be included on a vehicle in order for a person to drive. Remember, a driver license is considered a privilege, not a right, and this privilege is administered by the Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicles Division. The MVD is an administrative organization that gets to make its own rules and basically do whatever it wants. Drivers are at the mercy of the MVD and unlike a traffic ticket where you can challenge your ticket in court and you have rights, there is often no forum to challenge MVD decisions and you basically have no rights.
Consequences if a driver is convicted of operating a vehicle in violation of restriction
In Arizona, a violation of A.R.S. 28-3480(A), operation in violation of restriction, can be charged as a class 2 misdemeanor. A class 2 misdemeanor carries the potential for up to a $750 fine plus surcharges of $630, up to 4 months in jail, and 2 years probation. In practice, jail time and probation are unlikely, and the fines will below the maximum.
On exception worth noting is that A.R.S. 28-3480(B) provides that a person operating a vehicle in violation of a corrective lens restriction may only be charged with a civil violation.