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Wednesday, July 11, 2007
There's a Legal Limit For Minors?
...Imagine my surprise when I was reading a recent news story and found out that there's a legal limit for minors. By legal limit, I'm referring to blood alcohol level (BAL). In California, for adults, it's .08. In Alabama, for minors, it's .02.

Excuse me? DH explained it away - it's *ALABAMA*. Well, yes, but I'm sure that I know at least one sane and non-inbred individual from Alabama. And they would probably be properly outraged by a legal limit for minors.

I was, until I started doing research on it. Apparently every state has some word or not about legal limits for minors and it varies across the board. Some states list it as 0.0, others somewhere between .01 and .02. But why?

Well, it makes sense when you think about it. There's a legal limit because of things like cough syrup. You give a child the right type of cough syrup and suppose they have to have a blood draw (because they're not feeling well or something). A BAL would register. Even mouthwash has alcohol in it, so it makes sense that there's a legal limit. And no, I'm not about to push for legal limits in states that don't have them.

I want to talk about the insanity that has cropped up from this. You see, this is *all over* the blogosphere. I'm late to the party because the majority of blogs about this occurred over the weekend and on Monday. Why is everyone discussing legal limits all of a sudden? Well, it has to do with a certain 11 year old girl.

An 11 year old girl, in Alabama, took a relative's car to pick up her sister (age unknown) at a concert. That in and of itself is bad to begin with, but the 11 year old was speeding and when an officer flicked on his lights, she sped up and was chased.

Yes, chased. At speeds up to 100 mph, while sideswiping another car before flipping the one she was in. Officers were surprised to find an 11 year old behind the wheel, but were slightly more surprised by the fact that she was also drunk. And she may have had enough alcohol in her system to be drunk by adult standards (which is .08 in Alabama).

Now, I've watched people discuss this on the 'net and one of the things that really boggles the mind is that people are wondering how an 11 year old can even *see* over the steering wheel of a Monte Carlo (which is what the girl was allegedly driving). Well, A is 11, and she can see over the steering wheel of the Subaru Outback we drive and reach the pedals. I don't know if she can see over the steering wheel of the Jeep, but I know she wouldn't be able to do that and reach the pedals. She sat down behind the wheel of an MX5 (Miata), and it fit her almost perfectly. She's just taller than my MIL (who is 4'11") and MIL drives a Ford Explorer. So yes, it's possible for an 11 year old to drive a car.

DH and I talked with the 11 year old (A) and the almost 10 year old (B) and they thought that the drunk 11 year old was stupid. B couldn't believe it for a second that someone actually did this. Since it was a "relative's car" it makes me wonder where the heck the parents are in this equation. Or if the reason the 11 year old had access to a relative's car is because the parents aren't fit to care for the child. Either way, this isn't a good situation. But I just have one question from the whole thing...

...I want to know how old the sister is that she was going to pick up.