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Teen Driver Punished For Fatal Crash

Authorities in Santa Barbara County recently settled a case involving a 16-year-old driver who killed a bicyclist.

The Santa Maria teen, whose name was withheld, collided with Matthew O'Neill, a 33-year-old UCSB grad student who was riding a recumbent bicycle. The driver was charged with driving a commercial vehicle without a license, vehicular manslaughter and non-compliance with driving terms and restrictions. The D.A.'s office said the teen pleaded guilty to all three offenses.

The boy will lose his drivers' license for nine months, perform 100 hours of community service and pay $75,000 in fines and restitution.

The commercial vehicle charge stemmed from the fact that the teen was towing a trailer with a pickup truck.

Most of the rules for a commercial drivers' license are set out in VC 12804.9 and 15210. A "commercial vehicle" is broadly defined as any vehicle that has a gross weight over 26,000 pounds and is designed to carry either passengers or property. Any car, truck or van carrying hazardous materials is also a commercial vehicle, regardless of weight or design.

The state seems rather anxious to take away your CDL sometimes, and there are two main dangers to avoid:

An attorney practicing in Mojave can help you keep your CDL. First, a lawyer can get the points reduced on almost any offense. Second, an attorney can defend you against a charge of speeding 15 over in a commercial vehicle and save you from potentially very serious charges.