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Teen loses driver's license for life

March 5, 2012 at 5:44 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I., March 5 (UPI) -- A Rhode Island judge banned a teenager from ever driving again after he crashed his car, injuring himself and three passengers, while driving recklessly.

Lyle Topa, 17, of Charlestown, R.I., lost his license for life last week after pleading no contest to several charges, including speeding, for slamming his car into a tree in October while racing another driver, the Boston Herald reported Monday.

"I've had it," said Judge William Guglietta on imposing the sentence last week. "The time has come for a change in attitude towards our young people driving." He cited speed, booze and texting as constant issues.

Lawmakers applauded Guglietta's sentencing.

"Saying 'You lost your license for life,' sure it sends a strong message, but so was what we did," said state Rep. Bradford Hill, R-Ipswich.

Yet, nearby Massachusetts politicians said the ruling was a bit much for a young driver.

"I think it's a little harsh," said state Sen. Robert Hedlund, R-Weymouth. "The kid might mature and actually be a responsible driver. I don't know how you can take it away from a kid that age forever. What's he going to do ... bike for the rest of his life?"

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