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Teen Boy Banned from Driving for the Rest of His Life

Teen Boy Banned from Driving for the Rest of His Life

A judge in Rhode Island has banned a 17-year-old boy from driving for the rest of his life after the teen injured himself and three others. The boy, Lyle Topa, caused the accident by racing his car after drinking with friends. He was driving with a suspended license at the time.

Lifetime bans are not typically imposed on teens, but the judge, William Guglietta, feels the harsh sentence is in order because irresponsible teen drivers are so dangerous.

Read the whole story (Reuters)

Do you fear teen drivers on the road?

Image Source: Dnld60 via Flickr/Creative Commons

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CoMMember13631156378772 CoMMember13631156378772 3 years
Come on if he was driving on a suspended license anyway guess what, this ban will not stop him from driving at all.
SamanthaMosherCarnevale SamanthaMosherCarnevale 3 years
Too harsh. There are many adults who have killed people and still gotten their licenses back eventually. What if everything you did when your were 17 affected you for the rest of his life? If he follows the ban, how will he ever work, go to the grocery store, live on his own, have kids? I, like a lot of people in this country, live in a town with no public transportation or cabs. If he decides not to follow it, or tries to follow it and realizes he can't, he will repeatedly be in jail where he will pick up God knows what other criminal habits. This is too harsh, while he deserves to be punished, this judge is using this one teen to make a point about all teens, as he himself said. That isn't right. And really, I think almost everyone else knows this is too harsh- why else would it be in the national media? Why also we all clicked on it to read it? Adults and teens are sentenced all across this country every day for drunk driving and we never hear about it. Why this kid? Revoke Antilles 25 and give him a few years worth of hours of community service, under the threat of chill time if he doesn't comply, and then see if he can get out with his life. I really don't think this sentence both sick anyway.
JuneCherry JuneCherry 3 years
I don't think the ban to to harsh or overkill. My 18 year old son was run over and killed by his 17 year old "friend" after encouraging him tho car surf. Yes the kids are immature they may or may not turn into responsible adults. My son has been gone 2 years now and the teen that ran him over is still doing the same behaviors after taking my son's life because he was never punished. If examples are not made of dangerous teens there is not any determent for other teens not to participate in the same behaviors. At least the parents will be able to hold their son and help him to become a responsible adult. In my case like other parents where are children were killed by irresponsible teen drivers we will never hold our children again.
SharonKeenWalker SharonKeenWalker 3 years
There are tons of adults who are way more dangerous behind the wheel when they drink and drive. Even adults race their cars and cause accidents. Pretty sure that if he lives to be 80 or 90 something or even his 60's or 70's that the punishment doesn't fit the crime.
KellyRussell33945 KellyRussell33945 3 years
Kids are immature and stupid. (course I know a few adults who that applies to too!) This is overkill. Maybe 25 if he shows he has gotten his life in order. It is not far to use one kid as an example to the rest. Yes that is what he is doing if you note the judges comment about teen drivers...plural!
CathyBarker10782 CathyBarker10782 3 years
If a suspended license won't keep him off the road then I doubt the ban will. I do not think the ban is too harsh..what does he have to do, kill someone for the ban to be justified? I like the proactive approach..
BethRenzetti BethRenzetti 3 years
Better to live without driving than with deaths on his conscience. Good for that judge.
JaniceColeman55042 JaniceColeman55042 3 years
I think a life ban is definitely too harsh. I made many terrible decisions as a teenager. However, I have since grown into a very responsible adult. This boy definitely needs a harsh punishment, maybe 10 year revoked license and probation.
NikkiRushing NikkiRushing 3 years
I think it is time that we stop using age as an excuse for bad behavior. Our teenagers believe that they are automatically excused from doing this type of thing because they are SUPPOSED to be that way. No! They are not. There is such a thing as a responsible teenagers and we need more of them. If this boy had killed your mother, child, spouse or friend how would you feel then? I believe the answer is in letting our children know that we expect more out of them not less. Teenagers are not able to think like adults as their brain has not fully developed but they are supposed to use teh brain that they have. This was not too harsh of a sentence. More like it would save lives. What teenager would be doing this type of thing if they knew it would lead to no drivers license for life?????
AmberCascanette AmberCascanette 3 years
I don't think that's harsh.. Chances are he'll do it again. But I don't fear teen drivers when on the road. I've seen equally bad driving from experienced drivers..
TammyPreidis TammyPreidis 3 years
Great article with some fun ideas. I still have friends having babies and who knows perhaps I'll be a grandma in 5-10 years.
BobbieGowland BobbieGowland 3 years
I do not think it's too harsh. IF he weren't already driving on a suspended liscense, then I might, but he apparently already did something irresponsible to begin with, and sadly he didn't learn much. Although teen drivers do not scare me, I have seen too many in my area who have killed themselves and/or others by careless driving. Hopefully other careless teens will learn from his mistake. If he had killed someone instead of just injuring them, I am sure more people would be in support of this.
BernadetteMackie BernadetteMackie 3 years
I think a life ban is a little excessive. Yes, he does need to learn and needs far more than a slap on the wrist. But for life? People make bad decisions when they're young, and these bad decsions can end up being very bad mistakes. But it has also been proven that the part of the brain that connects cause and consequence, and affects decision making, is not fully developed until about 25 years of age in males, and a bit younger in females. Of course, this is not an acceptable excuse for doing stupid things, as there are a lot of people younger than this who are perfectly capable of making smart decisions. However, it is a scientific fact and this is why a lot of people do things when they are young that they wouldn't do when they are older. And it's also one of the reasons why, in Australia, anyone below the age of 25 is not allowed to drive a high powered vehicle. I think that the legal driving age really needs to be higher, full-stop. Teenagers are too young for that kind of responsibility.
GeraldineElemamba GeraldineElemamba 3 years
If an adult is worse than a teen in reckless driving, that adult was once a teen who probably wasn't reprimanded for his action. The teen should be ban for life supported.
AngelaBarraco AngelaBarraco 3 years
Teens don't scare me, I have seen worse driving in adults who have had their drivers licenses for a longer time. Just because this particular teen is a moron all teens shouldn't be painted with the same paint brush. In fact, where were the parents in all this. This delinquent teen is a product of someone who should take responsibility. He is still considered a minor isn't he? And who's car was he driving? Yay to the judge who gave him the sentence, very well deserved. Someone had already suspended his license and this individual still chose to get behind the wheel and to boot drink as a minor and drive. This irresponsible human being didn't just break one rule, but rather broke a number of laws. Whether this would have been an adult or a teen, the sentence should be the same.
FaithEstes FaithEstes 3 years
At first I thought punishment for life was harsh, because I did things as a teen I now regret.. We all do.. But then I thought about if he'd killed someone or paralyzed them.. Either they or their family would be suffering for life.. So maybe no driving for life is a good idea... Or at least till he's an adult and can prove without a doubt that he's changed.
MonicaHultin MonicaHultin 3 years
If he was already riding while suspended, I doubt being banned will keep him from driving.
ChristineRindler ChristineRindler 3 years
My friend went through this at the same age in Michigan. He Has been a very productive member of society, has not drank since then, &studying to become a pastor. He is now 28 And still no matter what he is still not allowed to get his license for life
DanaJohnson15756 DanaJohnson15756 3 years
@Kim Blackman, my heart goes out to your daughter. Don't give up the fight, healing is coming and soon those spasms will seize. > Lifetime punishment for this child is too much. This is definitely power abuse in my opinion. Perhaps, drunk drivers caught in this judge's jurisdiction are also lifetime banned from driving. I am most certain that this teen will have the opportunity for appeal. By the age of 25 this child will be driving again after numerous hours of rehabilitation, training and forgiveness. I hope if nothing else, this is an eye opener for drivers especially teens and young adults. I just pray that our children and their friends always drive responsibly.
DanielleSpence DanielleSpence 3 years
@Tammy McCray -- I wasn't perfect, but that's neither here nor there. I was taught it's dangerous to drink & drive. I was taught it's dangerous to try drugs. I was also taught that smoking is bad for you & highly addictive. So guess what? I made a point not to do those things and I still don't do those things. Everyone knows you aren't supposed to drink and drive!! Likewise, it's been amply communicated here in the US that you shouldn't smoke, yet you still have lots of stupid people out there who start & get addicted to it despite the warnings that it's especially addictive. I'd personally love to see cars equipped with sensors much like breath analyzers where if you have an ankle bracelet on, it won't let the car start. Then you slap ankle bracelets onto those who have had their license suspended. Maybe have wifi in each car so it has to check your fingerprint to make sure you're licensed before it can start.
DanielleSpence DanielleSpence 3 years
He already had a suspended license & it didn't stop him from driving. His being banned for life won't stop him from driving either. My part-time job is working for the OK Dept of Safety. 1-2 times each week I print up letters to people about their driving privileges being suspended - oftentimes it was already suspended when they were caught driving AGAIN & doing more illegal stuff. I personally wish they would impound the vehicle, and if the driver doesn't pay the fees within 90 days, then the state can sell the car & keep the proceeds. You take their cars away & they won't have anything to drive. For those who have their cars impounded after loaning it someone with a suspended license, you get one warning & then too bad. If the suspended license driver took the car without your permission, then you can file charges against them to have them put into jail and that will also keep them off the roads. All this might sound harsh, but I figure I'd probably be harsher if I had to stuff into envelopes all the letters I print weekly to those with no regard for the lives of those around them when they continue driving without insurance, driving under the influence, driving while high on drugs, underaged drinking while driving, and driving without a legal license. Probably doesn't help that I've lost someone to a drunk driver. Driving is a PRIVILEGE, NOT a right.
TammyMcCray61564 TammyMcCray61564 3 years
Interesting to me is to wonder HOW Many people who commented were ALWAYS perfect teens? Yes the young man should have a punishment but how irresponsible drinking adults are out on the road? Way more than we think. So where does the example for drinking and driving coming from? Gee I think that would be media and adults who are irresponsible!!!. Oh and a single mom is as just as good a mom as a partnered mom believe me I know. I have 3 teens oh and guess what they are pretty responsible for teens but I'm a stickler for responsibility also, but I'm a mom who realizes they make mistakes and to be punished for life as an example - thats a little excessive. Harsher drinking bans and laws would be smarter to keep kids safe. And that includes adults who drink!!!
kimblackman23836 kimblackman23836 3 years
i def can relate to this... a 17yr old boy who had his licence for 10 days and 1st time out at nite almost killed my daughter 8 mths ago ... driving 60mph on a 25mph dirt road hit the embankment and caused the car to flip 3-4 times ... his airbag deployed my daughter who was the front passager never deployed and from the force of her seat belt cause it to break and she was ejected from the 2008 chevy cobolt ... she was scalped, broke her neck and back, and right collarbone shattered , multi fractions of the diaphram,ribs ... she spent 5 weeks in ICU and 1 mth and 3 days in rehab and is still not back to her old self, she may never be, shes in a wheelchair and can only walk 250 feet before her left leg gets spasms and is tired for the rest of the day. i wasnt mad at the boy untill recently when he said to my daughter he is sorry she is hurt and in pain but he said he cant be directly sorry cause he did nothing wrong. he comes from a single parent home and his mom works all the time to support them and even his mom on numerous times has been polagetic and remorseful just not her son. so like i said i def can relate to this story.
JenniferSmart51843 JenniferSmart51843 3 years
Or teens that are 18 that have relations with teens that are under 18 and get labeled a pedophile for life. Which I feel is wrong, but driving and drinking these are evidently excepltable and we should make excuses for the kids that pull that crap. And isn't road island rather urban? Not very far from new York city where many people just never get divers licenses because they just don't need them?
JenniferSmart51843 JenniferSmart51843 3 years
Gosh, this site keeps sending me emails just to get me riled up. So, people think you should not have consequences that last your whole life for stuff you have done as a teen. So, does that mean teen moms and dads now are off the hook? Cause last time I checked having a baby at 15 or 17 effects the rest if your life.
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