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New Teen Driving Laws Go Into Effect Today

Connecticut’s tough new teen driving laws have gone into effect.

The laws have some teeth as most offenses result in mandatory suspensions.

Don’t even think about driving with a suspended license as it may put you in the fast lane to jail.

When I interned at the State’s Attorneys Office in law school, part of my job was to negotiate pleas on motor vehicle offenses.

The one case above all others that I handled was that of “Scott Speeder”.  Scott, and adventurous 18 year old went on a cross country road trip (gas was like $2.00 a gallon at the time). On his way home to Connecticut, Scott picked up speeding tickets in California, New Mexico, Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Delaware and New York.

To make matters worse, Scott decided that the only one of those states that he would drive in again was New York. So the only ticket Scott paid was New York’s. Scott had never heard of reciprocity.

Well, under an interstate pact, and as a result of not paying his tickets across the country, Connecticut suspended Scott’s license. When Scott came to court, I told him that he had to contact each of the States that he had unpaid tickets in.  Scott had decided not to pay the tickets and not to show up in court in each of the states.

Scott had to “reopen” all of those cases which required him to appear in person in all of the states he got tickets in.  Scott spent all of his money on his road trip and had no funds to return to those states.

In the meantime, Scott Speedy continued to drive in Connecticut while under suspension and picked up another case during the pendency of his first case.

I don’t remember Scott Speedy’s real name but if I did, I’d bet a mortgage payment that he’s spent time in jail for driving.

There are lessons in this for everyone:

1. Don’t drive under suspension – you can go to jail;

2. Don’t ignore legal problems, this never makes them better;

3. Take a staycation!

Have a great weekend.