Police Call: Drivers may be liable lending cars to unlicensed

| January 10, 2014 | 0 Comments
Jackson

Jackson

Col. Mark Jackson
Director, Emergency Services,
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, and
Commander, 8th Military Police Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

As noted in the Dec. 13, 2013, “Police Call,” the Directorate of Emergency Services is concerned with improper vehicle licensing and registration.

In several instances, we have found the liable driver to be a dependent operating a privately owned vehicle (POV) registered to the service member sponsor. According to state and federal laws, it is a chargeable offense to authorize or knowingly permit an unlicensed driver to operate a vehicle.

Individuals in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes 286-133 (“Unlawful to Permit Unauthorized Person to Drive”) may face a maximum punishment of 30 days imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000. The maximum punishment under federal law is the same as for the state.

“Unlicensed driver” includes individuals with no prior driver’s license, with a suspended license and with an expired license. Thus, service members who knowingly allow their unlicensed spouses or children to drive their POVs run the risk of being charged with a crime themselves.

Military sponsors are ultimately responsible for all family members and guests brought onto U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii installations. Sponsors should be in close proximity of all nonmilitary affiliated guests escorted on to installations.

Individuals detained by law enforcement personnel while on post will be processed by military police and released to the sponsor’s unit first sergeant or commander. Significant instances of misconduct or patterns of continued misconduct can lead to individuals being barred from USAG-HI installations by the order of the garrison commander. The bar is not limited to adults and can be applied to minors.

The following is an excerpt of an actual MP blotter entry from USAG-HI. Subjects are innocent until proven guilty.

Driving with an Expired Driver’s License, Allowing a Dependent to Drive with Expired License

•Nov. 28, 2013. Military Police patrols approached a sport utility vehicle (SUV) parked at the Aliamanu Military Reservation shoppette for playing excessively loud music. During questioning, the driver admitted that he did not have his license with him. A computer database check revealed that the individual’s Texas driver’s license had expired in 2008.

MPs detained the driver (later identified as a dependent) and transported him to the Fort Shafter Police Desk, where he was processed and cited on a DD Form 1805 for driving with an expired driver’s license (HRS 286-102). MPs issued the sponsor a DD Form 1408 for allowing a dependent to drive with an expired license.

*                               *                              *

The Community Compliance Office is currently working on barring the dependent from USAG- HI installations after further investigation revealed he had numerous criminal violations in the past.

While every situation is different, if law enforcement officials identify a family member or guest with an expired or suspended license, they will have reasonable cause to suspect that the sponsor was aware of that illegal situation and permitted it to occur. The same applies when family members are identified driving without any license.

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Category: News, Police Call, Standing Columns

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