There’s Nothing Wrong with Playing during Spring Break – as Long as You Play it Safe

MONTGOMERY — Spring Break is all about relaxation and recreation, but the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) urges everyone to play it safe.

Between now and the end of April, Alabama motorists should expect busier roadways and waterways across the state as families and high school/college students head to the beach, lake or other warm-weather attraction for a little spring break fun.

Whatever the plans, ALEA will work to ensure public safety, with Alabama State Troopers enforcing state laws and assisting motorists and boaters.

“Spring break should be fun. We do, however, ask everyone to move safety to the top of the to-do list when planning road trips,” Secretary of Law Enforcement Stan Stabler said. “Parents, sit down with your students — particularly those who will travel with friends — and review Alabama’s traffic and boating laws. Remind them to buckle up, to obey speed limits, to avoid texting and other distractions while driving and to use life vests while boating.”

Secretary Stabler said parents also should remind their children who are younger than 21 of the state’s law pertaining to underage drinking, and they should closely monitor teens to prevent underage consumption of alcoholic beverages. “This piece of advice applies to prom season, as well,” he said.

Another key to a safe spring break is a clear understanding of the state’s Graduated Driver License law, a three-stage licensing process that places certain restrictions on young drivers who need time to acquire experience before driving without supervision or restrictions:

Stage I (learner’s permit): A teen is authorized to drive when accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or licensed driver age 21 or older who is occupying the front passenger seat.

Stage II (restricted license): A 16- or 17-year-old who has passed the road skills test may drive without supervision, but he or she must not have more than one passenger in the vehicle other than parents, legal guardians or family members; must not use any handheld communication devices while driving; must not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or licensed driver age 21 or older.

Stage III (unrestricted license): A 17-year-old who has held a Stage II license for six months or longer may obtain an unrestricted license. Anyone who is age 18 or older may bypass the first two stages and obtain a Stage III license after passing the road skills test.

For further information on Alabama’s boating, traffic and drinking laws, please visit www.alea.gov.

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