In response to some parental concerns about kids and parents not understanding the Massachusetts Junior Operator License law, the Groveland Police Department offers this page of information for all to read. The actual law is complicated to read and too lengthy to print in this limited space, so we have condensed it to the important points parents and kids need to know.
When you obtain your license the following rules apply:
- For the 1st 6 months you may not have passengers, other than immediate family members, in your car under the age of 18 without a licensed driver over the age of 21, with at least 1 year of driving experience, in front passenger seat. A violation of this could result in a $35.00 fine and/or license suspension in addition to any other fines for other motor vehicle offenses.
- You may not drive between the hours of 12:00 A.M. and 5:00 A.M. without a parent or legal guardian in the car with you. A violation of this could result in an arrest or a summons for a criminal charge of operating without a license.
The Groveland Police Department has a Zero Tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol possession by minors and drug possession. This means minors under the age of 21 found in possession, or the transporting, of alcohol will be arrested. An arrest or summons for an alcohol possession/transportation charge may result in a suspension of their drivers license by the Registry. Possession of any illegal drug or narcotic will result in arrest and suspension of your license for up to 5 years.
Commonly asked questions about the Junior Operators License:
Will the police stop a car just because there are kids in it?
No. The car would be stopped for another motor vehicle violation first, before the operator can be cited for the passenger restriction.
How do the police know how long I’ve had my license?
A simple computer check at the time of a motor vehicle stop shows your license date of issue.
How long will a violation stay on my record?
Forever, and some employers check on these records before deciding on your employment.
Can I drive my friends to school?
No, unless there is a licensed driver over the age of 21 in the car.
Can I drive my brother/sister to school?
If there is alcohol in my car and no one has been drinking, what will happen?
All minors in the car are subject to arrest, the car can be towed (about $70) and you will have to go to court. The registry will suspend your drivers license for 90 days.
What if I have been drinking?
If you are under the age of 18 and charged with operating under the influence and either refuse a breathalyzer test or take the test and have a B.A.C. of 0.02 (the equivalent of 1 drink) or higher, your license will be suspended for 1 year. This is in addition to any court ordered suspension.
Will my insurance be affected by a J.O.L. violation?
All moving violations can affect your or your parents insurance rates. The Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles has an excellent web site with 40 commonly asked questions on this subject.