Barbara A. Bowden

Tacoma, WA DUI Attorney

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Do I need a traffic ticket attorney for my teenager’s traffic infraction?

Yes. Remember that teen drivers face stricter regulations and more severe penalties in their early years of driving. The State of Washington has set rules in place for young drivers in order to keep the roads safe despite their lack of experience.

You may have read our information about habitual traffic offenders. Teens can incur these types of consequences much, much faster if they get even one or two tickets.

Read more about habitual traffic offenders.

Teenage drivers start out with an intermediate license. When you’re between 16 and 18, if you get two or more moving violations, you’re going to get a six‑month suspension or you will be suspended until age l8 whichever occurs first. . This means your teen is unable to drive to work or school. There is no option to get an occupational license for teens.

If you get three, you’re suspended until the age of 18. A lot of these kids are driving themselves to school and have working parents. While it is an inconvenience for the teen, it is even more so for the parent. They are the ones penalized. If you are facing this kind of suspension oftentimes, we can vacate a ticket or two and restore the license.

It is crucial that you fight these tickets even if it is the first ticket they have received.

Many parents don’t know this and pay their teenager’s ticket instead of fighting it. But if they pay the ticket, and their teen gets a second one, their teen now will have their license suspended for the six months.

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Teen Driving Restrictions

For the first six months of driving with an intermediate license, you can’t have anybody else in the car that is a minor or non‑family member. You are under restricted driving hours.

Like everyone else, you can’t text while driving or use a cell phone while driving either.

Moving Violation Penalties for Teens

After your first moving violation when you’re between the ages of 16 and 18 you will get a warning letter. After the next moving violation, you will get a six-month suspension.

Remember too that teens are under additional restrictions. And if you go against those restrictions, that will count as a violation. For example, if you have somebody that’s a minor in your car that’s not a family member, that will count as a violation. It isn’t a moving violation but it will trigger a violation on an intermediate license.

Click here to learn more about suspended licenses and other traffic violation penalties.

What is the penalty for texting and driving?

Cell phone usage and texting while driving and you are a minor may be non moving violations, but they do count toward the six-month suspension.

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Want to learn more about texting and driving? Read our blog about the psychology behind texting and driving, and other dangerous driving habits.