Learning to drive a car is a rite of passage in American life. Nearly fifty years after the Beach Boys first sang about a vehicle called the T-Bird, driving remains a milestone for teenagers in our mobile society.
As a parent, this is big for you, too. You've shuttled your kid around for years. Now, with appropriate driver's training, your child is finally able to drive on his or her own.
Did you know, however, that the California Vehicle Code contains an expansive list of possible reasons for taking those hard-earned driving privileges away? This article will discuss how that can happen for a host of juvenile offenses.
License Suspension Under the Vehicle Code
California Vehicle Code Section 13202.5 contains a lengthy list of alcohol or controlled substance violations under which driving privileges can be suspended or delayed for people under the age of 21. Conviction of a designated misdemeanor on this list can result in a driver's license being taken away for up to year.
It's also important to realize that these offenses involving intoxication are by no means the only reasons why driving privileges for young people can be restricted.
For example, it could happen if your kid is merely caught possessing marijuana - even if he or she was not using it. The same is true of being caught with an open container of alcohol, even if the youth was not driving while under the influence.
Truancy and Other Offenses
Indeed, the reasons for restricting California driving privileges extend to offenses such as prostitution or vandalism. They can even include driving offenses such as failure to stop at a railroad crossing.
Under Vehicle Code Section 13202.7, the state can take away the driving privileges of a minor under age 17 for up to a year if a court determines that the minor is a "habitual truant." This could mean that your kid loses his or her license for ditching school three times.
Keep in mind then, parents, that if your child has school attendance issues or gets in some other scrape with the law, the unforeseen consequences can be considerable Losing driving privileges is only one of them. Ford may not make the T-Bird anymore, but you've got to take it seriously when the state wants to take child's driving privileges away.