Submitted by the California Highway Patrol
Marin CHP officers are well aware of Marin County’s high school’s yearly schedules. They keep track of the school holidays, they know where and when the proms and formal dances are and brief their officers on other events that might result in a large number of teens crammed into cars roaming throughout Marin late at night looking for the next party or place to hang out.
If you did not know, Marin CHP officers have zero tolerance for teens who consume alcohol or smoke marijuana and drive. They have zero tolerance for persons under 21 who illegally transport drugs or alcohol in their vehicles. They also have zero tolerance for provisional drivers (those under 18 with restricted licenses their first year of issue) who illegally drive with passengers or who drive past the restricted hour of 11 p.m.
“Parents continue to let their 16 and 17 year old teens drive in violation of their license restrictions by driving a vehicle at night, and nine times out of ten, that car is full of other teens. We do not turn a blind eye to this, and we do not give 'verbal warnings,' we write tickets.”
First quarter statistics for DUI arrests for teens in Marin County age 19 and under are already off to a strong start and could surpass 2011 totals at the current rate.
CHP Officers will be vigilant this week, upcoming prom months, graduation, and summer vacation looking for impaired teens driving. Officers will also cite passengers found with any violations and turn them over to parents or designated guardians.
“We often encounter teens at places their parents are not aware of. If your child is going to be anywhere but at home at night, do us a favor and answer your phone at 1 o’clock in the morning. They could have been involved in a collision, a victim of a crime, or so intoxicated they cannot care for themselves. The frequency at which we run into the problem of not being able to get a hold of a parent who needs to respond to take care of their child is frustrating.”