Make Your Child Aware of Their Rights while Driving in Virginia

Once your child begins driving, it's natural to worry about them. You've tried your best to teach them how to drive safely, but you should also teach them about their rights if they are pulled over by a police officer. Many children are never properly taught about their rights. But when they are, it can be empowering to know what police can and cannot do. Make sure your children know these basics:

  • There must be reasonable suspicion for a police officer to pull you over. This means if the child was engaging in some form of reckless driving, like speeding or breaking any traffic laws. This could also mean that one of their headlights is out.
  • You do not have to let the police search your car if they ask. If the officer does not have any reasonable suspicion that the child was doing something illegal, they can't search it if your child politely says no. The officer is, however, within their rights to seize illegal items in plain view.
  • Roadblocks/sobriety checkpoints are legal if certain protocol are followed. Although it does seem to go against the rule that police must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, they still follow certain rules. They have to announce the location of the checkpoint in advance, process drivers within a set time so they don't impede traffic, and must use a mathematical formula to choose the cars they pull over (every tenth car, every fifteenth car, etc.) rather than randomly choosing people based on age or behavior.

Teaching your child their rights is important, but it's also vital that they understand that they need to always be respectful toward police officers. Displaying a bad attitude after getting pulled over is never a good thing for anyone involved.

If your child was ticketed for a juvenile traffic violation, call Jarrell, Hicks, and Waldman at 888-783-9701.

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