Most Mesa teenagers can barely wait for their sixteenth birthday so that the driver’s license process can start. Earning that license is a rite of passage that means greater freedom – but also much greater responsibility. Unfortunately, motor vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of death and disability for American teenagers. 

Beyond those life or death stakes, many teens do not realize they can lose the privilege of a driver’s license in several circumstances. Arizona courts typically treat juvenile drivers much harsher for both traffic violations and more serious infractions due in part to the high risk for this age group. 

If your son or daughter is getting ready to hit the road, make sure they understand the reasons for suspending a juvenile’s license. 

Traffic violations 

Unlike the point system for adult drivers, juvenile drivers can face a three-month license suspension after just two convicted traffic violations. These can be normal traffic violations like speeding or disobeying a traffic signal. 

Suspension can also come after multiple infractions against the curfew or passenger restrictions for drivers under 18. Younger drivers should not drive without an adult in the passenger seat in the hours between midnight and 5 AM. Additionally, a juvenile driver cannot have more than one passenger under the age of 18 in the car (with some exceptions for family members). 

Other suspensions 

Given that juvenile drivers cannot legally drink alcohol, it makes sense that alcohol possession and especially driving while intoxicated have strict consequences for juvenile drivers. However, other criminal convictions unrelated to driving can also cause a driver’s license suspension for drivers under 18. 

Some of those crimes include: 

  • Purchase or possession of materials used for graffiti 
  • Criminal property damage 
  • Theft 

In Maricopa County, those charges result in a suspension of the license until the driver’s eighteenth birthday. One mistake should not rob a teen of valuable driving experience or affect the ability to find a job down the road.