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AZ Teen Driving Law

Posted on August 8, 2019 in News

What is the Teen Driving Law?

Put down the phone and watch the road! In 2018, a law banning wireless use by teens while driving went into effect. Arizona teen drivers who hold a Class G license (also known as an Arizona’s Graduated Driver’s License or a “GDL ) are prohibited from using wireless communication devices, including mobile phones, while operating a vehicle during the permit and first six months of Class G phases. A Class-G license is issued to those drivers who are at least sixteen-years old, but who are younger than eighteen-years old and who have held an Arizona instruction permit for at least six months.

Governor Doug Ducey signed this legislation into law in April 1, 2017, stating, “For our youth, these laws can act as a teacher. In fact, I’d be in favor of a law that goes further, banning texting while driving for all minors. Driving is a privilege for our youth, and they are still the responsibility of their parents, financially and otherwise, before the age of eighteen.”

The law is Explained as Follows by ADOT:

Instruction Permit holders may not use a wireless communication device for any reason except during an emergency in which stopping the vehicle is impossible or will create an additional emergency or safety hazard.

For the first six months, a person that holds a Class G license may not drive a motor vehicle using a wireless communication device for any reason except: During an emergency in which stopping the vehicle is impossible or will create an additional emergency or safety hazard.

When using an audible turn-by-turn navigation system under specified conditions.

What is Secondary Enforcement?

The restriction is subject to “secondary enforcement”, meaning members of law enforcement are not supposed to stop teen drivers simply for the use of the wireless communication devices alone. The police have to pull the teen driver over for some other driving-related offense first but once they do, the police are free to cite the teen for using a wireless communication device.

Violators will face fines, mandatory traffic school, and for multiple offenses license suspensions and even license revocation. Despite this “secondary enforcement” policy you can bet many more teens will be pulled over in the near future if they are on their cell phone even if they don’t appear to commit any other infraction, and once they are it opens the door for police to “investigate” and potentially cite or arrest the teens for unrelated offenses. It’s important to secure the representation of a Phoenix criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if your child is charged with a driving-related crime.

What should I do if my Teen is Arrested?

If your teen is arrested or charged with any juvenile or driving-related crimes, or if you have any further questions, please contact AZ Defenders at (480) 456-6400 for a free consultation. We are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.