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What is Vanessa’s Law?

In May 2004, the State of Minnesota enacted “Vanessa’s Law” in memory of 15-year old Vanessa Weiss who was killed just a few days before she turned 16. She was a passenger in vehicle that was driven by an unlicensed 15-year old. Vanessa’s law is aimed at drivers under 21 who commit an alcohol or controlled substance crash-related offense. The law basically states the following:

• Any unlicensed driver under age 18 who receives a crash-related traffic violation will not be eligible for an instruction permit or provisional license until age 18.

• Any unlicensed driver who receives an alcohol or controlled substance violation will not eligible for an instruction permit or provisional license until age 18.

• Drivers with a provisional license who have an alcohol or controlled substance revocation of their license or receive a crash-related traffic violation will lose their provisional license until they turn 18. Once they turn 18, the driver would need to complete the following before a regular driver’s license can be issued:

1. Pay the reinstatement fee of $680
2. Complete 30 hours of classroom instruction in a driver’s education course
3. Obtain an instruction permit and hold it for at least three months
4. Pass the Minnesota driver’s license knowledge test

The individual must complete six hours of behind-the-wheel training while holding the instruction permit.

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