BATON ROUGE, La (FOX44) — It's prom season, and many area students will be driving to the dance, but could they be breaking the law without even knowing it? FOX44 breaks down some of the teen taboos made behind the wheel and laws in place to stop them.
If your teenager has an intermediate driver's license there are some laws they'll need to know. Teens have a tendency to cram into one car, but that's not always safe. "A distraction is not always something that takes your hands or eyes off the road," says Crystal Pichon with Lexlee's Kids. "it can also be something mental, like you are trying to process a conversation you are having with someone."
That's why teens under the age of 17 can't have more than one teenage passenger in the car after 6pm. "The more people that you pack into a vehicle increases the chance of you being in a crash significantly," says Pichon.
There are some exceptions to the law. If that teen is with a family member 18-years-old or older, they can stay out past that curfew. If they are with an adult 21-years-old or older, they can stay on the roads past 11.
Teens under 17 also are not allowed behind the wheel between 11 pm and 5am unless they're accompanied by an adult who is at least 21-years-old or a family member who is at least 18-years-old.
Prom night is no exception. "It's not to ruin your fun," says Pichon. "It's just so you are able to create those memories and we want you to be here to share those memories."
See the full list of those teen driving laws below.
Driving applications of persons less than 21 years of age:
If 15 years of age but less than 17 years of age can obtain a Class “E” learner’s license (often referred to as learner’s permit) if complete ALL the following:
-A driver’s education course approved by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections or the Department of Education;
- Pass a visual examination;
-Pass a road knowledge test.
If 16 years of age, the Class “E” learner’s license may be converted to a Class “E” Intermediate license if meet ALL the following criteria:
-Applicant must complete 50 hours of supervised driving practice with a licensed adult at least age twenty one or older. Fifteen (15) of these hours must be nighttime driving;
-Applicant must pass an on-road driving test;
-Must be free of at fault accidents for 180 days;
-Must be free of moving violations for 180 days;
-Must be free of seatbelt or curfew law violations for 180 days; and
-Must be free of any violation of law pertaining to drug or alcohol use.
RESTRICTON S for Class “E” Intermediate license holders:
-Those under 17 cannot drive from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. UNLESS another licensed driver in the vehicle of at least 21 years of age or licensed sibling of 18 years of age present in the vehicle;
-Those under 17 cannot drive between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. with more than other passenger that is under the age of 21 that is not a member of their immediate family UNLESS accompanied by another licensed adult of at least age 21 or by licensed sibling 18 years or older.
If 17 years of age and complete ALL of the following can obtain a Class “E” with full driving privileges:
-Must be free of any at fault accidents for 12 consecutive months;
-Must be free of any moving violations for 12 consecutive months;
-Must be free of any violation of the seat belt or curfew law for 12 consecutive months; and
-Must be free of any violation of drug or alcohol use for 12 consecutive months.
· Texting and driving is now a primary offense. $175 first offense and $500 repeat offense. (a text is not worth the money and not worth your life).
· BAC level for persons under the age of 21 is .02, instead of the .08 for persons 21 and up. (even if you do not reach .02 you can still be sited or underage drinking).
Check out Lexlee's Kids, a child safety organization, at http://www.lexleeskids.org/