View Full Version : Driving violations and penalties for teens

03-22-2015, 04:29 AM
Moved from a previous topic:

I am writing a YA set in Oregon (Portland at large), and have looked up various sites already on state-specific drunk driving laws and penalties, but am still coming up a little short on some details.

Wondering if anyone has expertise on driving violations for teens to round out my research; things such as timelines from violation to court hearing, type of hearing, additional fallout I might be overlooking. It could either be general knowledge about violations, or knowledge about Oregon (I've visited and have a few friends in the area, though writers often have more specific details!)

In my story a 15-year-old with provisional license (permit) confesses to driving her drunk sister home from a party. She crashes the car resulting in minor injuries, totaled car. In her mind, she's getting her sister out safe, even though she's not allowed to drive on her own w/o a guardian and certainly not driving another teen who is violating the law by underage drinking. I have her getting sentenced with community service and suspension of driving privileges for either 6 months to a year, meaning she can't get her license until then. Plus fines.

The twist in the story is that the confession is actually a lie; the 15-yr-old is covering for her 18-yr-old sister who actually DID drive drunk. The 18yo has a previous traffic violation, and is heading toward alcoholism; her younger sister aims to "protect" her from a harsh sentence (the story focuses a bit on their struggling relationship as sisters). The penalties from what I can find is suspension of license for a year plus fines plus mandatory drug counseling.

I can provide more story detail if needed.

Thanks in advance!

03-25-2015, 09:57 PM
There are way too many variables to give you a definitive answer. What do you actually need to happen and why is it important to the plot or character development? It sounds like the basic violation is an unlicensed teen driving on a permit. Oregon state laws will tell you exactly what the punishment is, and community service isn't even remotely in the realm for a traffic violation.

If you need community service, have her hit someone else, maybe even run from the accident. This can escalate it to a criminal charge and could result in some penalty other than a fine or loss of driving privileges. If you just need the accident and some serious penalty to make her realize she's stupid to cover for someone else, have the state revoke her permit and ban her from driving as a minor. Make it her dad's restored 1957 Corvette and she'll be banned from driving until she's 100. :)


03-27-2015, 04:14 AM
Thank you for your time.

03-27-2015, 05:23 AM
One thing I wanted to mention is that for traffic violations, there usually isn't a provision for different procedures from adults. You're in the same courtroom with the same legal provisions.

Even with the changes, there's not much difference. For example, DUI is usually 0.08% for someone over 21, and 0.02% for someone under 21. However, the consequences are the same.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

03-27-2015, 05:44 AM
In Oregon, it's zero tolerance under 21 for alcohol violations. I've found a lot of good resources, I think I just have so much information I'm triple checking to make sure it works for the story. I probably haven't been clear with explanation, but I'm going to keep using my resources. Thanks!

04-01-2015, 11:58 AM
I really think why Oregon and in fact whole sates implement zero alcohol limit like many countries are going to implement. Most of people who are charged with DUI, drink because they feel they havenít had enough to blow over the limit or can hire a good DUI lawyer (http://www.duilawyerlosangeles.com/) who can take care of things. I feel this will stop people driving at all if they have taken a booze.