Kansas law requires young drivers to earn their full driving privileges by first restricting their driving time. At age 15, a driver must pass a vision test, complete a driver education course (school or private) and have held an "instruction permit" for one year. At 15 years, the driver must sign an affidavit confirming at least 25 hours of parental supervised driving. The restrictions include: to and from work; to and from school when in session over the most direct route; anytime and anywhere when driving with a licensed adult. NO use of cell phones except for emergencies. As for passengers, can not have any non-sibling minor passengers. At age 16, the driver must show 50 hours of supervised driving and can then drive anywhere from 5AM to 9 PM, anytime going to and from work; anytime going to and from school activities. This restricted Permit must be held for 6 months or until age 17, whichever occurs first.
At age 17, the driver is not subject to restrictions but must take the written and vision tests or a certificate of completion of driver education. The driver can use a cell phone if necessary, although this sounds like a bad idea. Regardless, at 17 one can drive freely and without supervision or restriction. This is the age where I see some of my first time clients. The primary issues are speeding, driving without headlights, and expired tags. On rare occasion an under 18 driver will get a DUI. I will address underage DUI on a separate blog.
The best resolution to a Driving in Violation of Restrictions ticket is to get the ticket amended to a non-moving violation. I usually present my client as being responsible and with a good reason for driving outside of the restriction. I will provide my client's academic records if they are an excellent student. If not, then I look at their extra curricular activities to demonstrate his or her active lifestyle. A reasonable prosecutor will look at these circumstances and will usually agree to an amendment for an enhanced fine of double the original fine.
I am seeing a trend with prosecutors rejecting an amendment but agreeing to a short diversion period (3-6 months) and requiring a driving class that usually lasts 4-6 hours. Diversion results in a dismissal of the charge at the end of the period. A diversion fee of $100-200 is usually assessed. The benefit of a diversion is the same as that of an amendment: the charge is not reported on the driving record. A conviction for this charge results in a 30-day suspension of the driver's license. Therefore, pursuing an amendment or diversion of the ticket is the smart course of action. DO NOT simply pay the ticket without exploring these alternatives first.
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