Since his arrival on Nevada’s public scene in 2013, Adam Laxalt has been up front about his personal battles with addiction, including a DUI arrest and a trip to a rehab facility for alcoholism at the age of 18.
But the 40-year-old Laxalt, the state’s attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate, has been quiet about another part of his record — multiple traffic violations.
A records review by The Nevada Independent found that Laxalt racked up eight traffic tickets — including five for speeding — between 1996 and 2006 in Virginia and Maryland, where the potential future governor spent most of his life before moving to Nevada in 2011.
Three of the charges stem from a single stop in Arlington, Virginia on August 12, 1997, where the nearly 19-year-old Laxalt was charged with driving 16 miles over a 30 mile per hour speed limit, not wearing a seatbelt and a charge related to driving with a restricted license under Virginia’s Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP).
The speeding ticket and seat belt violations could have triggered the violation of driving on a restricted license. It appears Laxalt was on the VASAP program as of a result of a violation prior to his 18th birthday. But it’s difficult to say with any certainty since criminal records related to minors are not authorized for public release according to Arlington County, Virginia, police Public Information Officer Ashley Savage, in response to a request for any records related to Laxalt’s DUI arrest. Virginia law requires everyone convicted of driving under the influence to enter and complete the VASAP program.
Laxalt has said he stopped drinking on January 13, 1997 at the age of 18 while enrolled in a rehab facility near Minneapolis. According to a March 1999 interview with Laxalt in Washingtonian magazine, the future attorney general said he was pulled over in Alexandria during winter break after his first semester at Tulane University.
Laxalt was also ticketed at the age of 20 in January 1999 for driving 48 in a 25 mph zone in Alexandria, Virginia, again at the age of 22 in June 2001 for going 12 mph over the limit in Arlington, and ticketed again in 2003 at the age of 24 for going 82 mph in a 55 zone in Easton, Maryland — a ticket he paid last month.
He was also ticketed for making an illegal pass on the right shoulder near Arlington in May 2005 at the age of 26 and for speeding 15 over a posted 60 mph zone at the age of 28 in Southampton County, Virginia.
Additional details of the speeding tickets aren’t available — Virginia law only requires dockets in civil cases to be held for ten years, so more information on the traffic stops is no longer available.
Virginia assesses demerit points for traffic violations that depend upon the driver’s age, nature of offense and the number of points assessed in a given time period. Licenses may be suspended if a driver collects 12 points in 12 months, or 18 points in 24 months.
Laxalt’s campaign didn’t respond to an email asking if his license had ever been suspended or revoked because of the traffic infractions.
Outside Nevada, other political figures have been dogged by repeat traffic infractions and violations. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and his wife, Jeanette Rubio, received 17 traffic infractions between 1997 and 2015.