Q: My 17-year-old son was pulled over by police for having too many underage passengers in his car. What can we do?
A: Juvenile drivers who have too many fellow juveniles in their cars rank well down on the list of priorities of the Virginia police, who would much rather chase after drunk or reckless drivers. Technically, a 16-year-old with a Virginia driver's license can only have one passenger under the age of 18 in his car (excluding immediate relatives), while 17-year-olds are allowed up to three underage passengers. Normally, the only way police would even know that this restriction was being violated would be if they heard an unusual amount of noise coming from an overstuffed SUV—and, possibly, the only reason they would choose to give the driver a citation is if they were catching attitude from him and/or his passengers.
If your son has already been issued a citation, you can settle for one of two outcomes. In the worst case, his license will be revoked until he turns 18; whether or not you and your teen driver are willing to settle for that depends on whether his birthday is 11 months or two weeks from now. You can also follow up on the citation and present mitigating evidence to the officials at traffic court. If you can demonstrate that your teen had no choice but to have more than the legal limit of passengers (perhaps because they were all drunk, and he was the only sober driver at hand) the judge may well dismiss or reduce the charge. Any questions? Call the experienced traffic lawyers at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC for a free consultation today!