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Does your teen know the driving restrictions in California?

Getting a driver's license remains a kind of rite of passage for teenagers. It provides a measure of freedom and independence, but it also comes with a great deal of responsibility.

It can take some time to build up enough experience to truly understand how to drive. For this reason, California puts certain restrictions on teenagers who have their licenses less than a year. Your teen needs to know these rules in order to avoid the legal ramifications of not complying with the law.

The restrictions

During the first year a teen has his or her license, the following restrictions apply:

  • Your teen cannot have passengers under the age of 20 in the vehicle.
  • Your teen cannot drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Your teen cannot use any electronic device while driving, even with a hands-free device.
  • Your teen cannot have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01% or higher while driving.

The state created these rules to increase the safety of your teenager and everyone else on the road. Inexperience coupled with one or more of the above factors creates a dangerous situation that could easily result in a serious or fatal motor vehicle accident.

The exceptions

Even though the state imposes the above restrictions on your teen's driving habits during the first year, it also understands that your teen cannot avoid certain situations. For this reason, the following exceptions to the rules exist:

  • Your teen can have passengers under the age of 20 in the vehicle if someone 25-years-old or older with a valid driver's license is also in the vehicle.
  • Your teen can drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. if someone 25-years-old or older with a valid driver's license is also in the vehicle.
  • Your teen can also drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. for medical necessity, employment or a school-related activity. He or she will need documentation that verifies one of these circumstances.

These restrictions no longer apply after the age of 18 even if he or she has not driven for at least 12 months. If your son or daughter receives two points on his or her license within a year, the state will suspend it for 30 days. Three points results in a year of probation and a six-month license suspension.

The other consequences of breaking the rules

A license suspension could be the least of a young driver's worries. Regardless of whether he or she violates the law, if an accident occurs caused by the teen, innocent victims could suffer serious or fatal injuries. If you are a victim of an accident involving a teen driving in violation of these restrictions, you could suffer serious injuries that require a significant amount of money and recovery time. Learn about your legal options.

 

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