Freshmen at FPC get some personal time with DMV officials and some tips on how to get and keep a driver’s license.
Jacob Nichols wobbled a bit as he walked the yellow and black line.
Jacob, a freshman at Flagler Palm Coast High School, wasn’t drunk, nor had he been driving; he doesn’t even have his learner’s permit. Jacob was in the Learning Commons Center at the high school wearing goggles brought to a DMV event by Flagler Tax Collector Suzanne Johnston. The goggles simulate what vision, balance and reaction time would be for someone with a .08-.11 blood alcohol level – two drinks or less.
The event was presented for the first time by the Flagler County Tax Collector’s office and was directed toward freshmen, students who may be eligible to get their driver’s learning permit.
“The kids have really paid attention,” Johnston said. “Most of them have really been into it.”
Johnston and her staff had a wheel of questions that students would find on the driving test. Those who got the right answer won a prize.
DMV employee Dave Hern said many students are waiting until they are 17 or 18 to get their licenses.
“I don’t know why, but we are seeing a trend in students waiting to get their permits.”
Dakotah Marshall arrived at the second session early and took the opportunity to have a one-on-one with Johnston about successfully taking the test. Johnston had a table full of books and learning tools, and online resources.
“You can take the test in the office or online,” she said.
Many things have changed since most of the parents, and even older brothers and sisters, have gotten their licenses. Other requirements, outside of driving habits on the road, can determine whether a teen is able to keep their license.
“You can lose your privilege to drive if you are not attending school or an officer catches an underage student smoking,” Hern said. “If you aren’t in school, or getting your GED or high school equivalency, you have to wait until you are 18.”
Did you know?
There are a number of infractions that can cause you to lose or restrict your driving privileges. The following are of particular interest to teen drivers.
- If you receive a moving traffic conviction while you have a Learner's License, the one year period you are required to hold your Learner's License will be extended for one year from the date of the conviction or until you are 18 years old, whichever happens first.
- If you receive 6 points on your driving record within a 12 month period, your driving privileges are automatically restricted to business purposes only for 12 months or until you are 18, whichever happens first. If you receive additional points during this restricted period, the restriction is extended 90 days for each additional point.
- If you have a blood alcohol level of .02% or more (applies to those under age 21), an administrative suspension of six months will result.
- If you are truant in your school attendance, your driving privilege is suspended until you provide proof you have attended school for 30 consecutive days.
- If you are convicted for possession of tobacco or nicotine products (applies to those under age 18).