Inevitably

According to one of those little human interest stories in the newspaper, a lad in Utah was recently pulled over for impaired driving.

Turns out he wasn’t so much medically or chemically impaired as he was chronologically disadvantaged. He’s not-quite-six years old.

In an unusual deviation from the normal process of suppressing the names of underage suspected lawbreakers, the papers are naming him in full. Congratulations, Adrian Zamarripa: your name will forever be linked to driving without a license, reckless endangerment, and (probably) speeding.

Adrian, it seems, had saved up three dollars and was driving to his sister’s home in California to buy his dream car, a Lamborghini. It’s unclear why he felt he needed his sister’s assistance. While there don’t appear to be any dedicated Lamborghini dealers in Utah, a quick Google search shows several more general dealerships who have Lamborghinis available. There are also at least a couple of Lamborghini-specific dealerships in Texas, which is likely to be an easier drive for someone who can’t see over the dashboard of the family car.

Also no word in the story of whose keys Adrian was using. I’m assuming he doesn’t have his own set*, so I have to wonder if he snagged Mom’s keys or Dad’s. Perhaps the parents should look into the purchase of a key safe?

* I could be wrong about that. I gather that kids in the middle of the US learn to drive at younger ages than on the coasts, and that enforcement of licensing laws can be spotty in rural areas.

The story does have a happy ending. Nobody was injured or killed. Contrary to my expectations, no dealership has scrounged some publicity by offering to sell Adrian his dream car. Check back in ten years, though, when he gets his license; somebody might be willing to cut him a deal–though probably for more than three bucks.

Vexingly, the story doesn’t say a word about punishment. Did Adrian have to go to bed without supper? Get a week of extra chores or restrictions on his sport car racing video time? Did Daddy take his T-Bird away? (Sorry, wrong song.)

Instead, it devotes a paragraph and several pictures to the juvenile miscreant taking a ride with a local Lamborghini owner.

This is not a deterrent.

I expect we’ll be seeing a rash of copycat crimes as dozens of pre-teen boys and girls crack open their piggy banks, swipe the car keys, and set out on their own quests for the cars of their dreams.