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Driving Age Laws in the Works in Connceticut

As of the date of the assembly, the task force had articulated its recommendations into 20 specific long term goals. The recommendations have gone through the state transportation committee, the judiciary committee, and have been approved by the governor.

Once approved, the new laws will go into effect on Aug. 1 of this year.

Some of the proposed changes that will most affect new drivers and their parents are:

• If charged with DUI, 16- or 17-year-olds will have their license suspended for not less than one year (currently, the suspension period is not less than six months).
• Holders of learner’s permits may only drive with either 1) a licensed driving instructor, 2) one passenger who is at least 20 years old, has had a license for at least four years, and hasn’t had their license suspended during the preceding four years, or 3) their parents or legal guardian.
• Behind the wheel instruction requirements will increase from the current 20 hours to 40 hours.
• The probationary period (during which there are restrictions on passengers in a vehicle with a 16- or 17-year-old newly licensed driver) will be doubled. During the first six months, new drivers (16- and 17-year-olds) may only have passengers who are: 1) a licensed driving instructor, 2) one passenger who is at least 20 years old, has had a license for at least four years and hasn’t had their license suspended during the preceding four years, or 3) their parents or a legal guardian. Between six months and one year, new drivers may add a member of the immediate family.
• Curfew for new drivers will be changed from midnight to 11 p.m.

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