Shocking Teen Trends: Dominic and Justin

Shocking Teen Trends: Dominic and Justin

"I'm addicted to street racing. The day that I turned 18, I started racing," confesses Dominic. "I got a couple of my buddies, and we were racing on the highway, passing cars left and right. We were going into residential areas, speeding."

"I had no idea that Dominic would think about racing illegally and endangering himself," admits Susan, Dominic's mother. 

"Dominic and I have been street racing together for three months now. I've had two tickets for careless driving. I was going 130 in a 35 [mph zone]," Justin divulges. "I've had one accident. I was going way too fast on the highway, about 142. I had three people in the car with me, and lost control of it."

Dominic received his first ticket a few days after his 18th birthday, and his second ticket less than a month later. "When Dominic came home with his second ticket, I told him it was unacceptable, and his car was sold," Susan says. 

"Two months after my car was sold, I picked up another Eclipse," Dominic says proudly. "My new car is a lot more powerful, three-and-a half times faster." 

Dominic gives his take on Nick Hogan's recent accident, which involved street racing. "He was spinning his tires. If you actually want to get traction, any racer shouldn't be spinning his tires," he explains. "I'm always a safe driver. I love street racing because it's an adrenaline rush. You think you're invincible."

"I'm scared for Dominic. My greatest fear is he's going to hurt himself, maybe take own his life," Susan frets.

After the video clip ends, Susan expresses her concerns. "I'm really, really scared. Really scared that Dominic is not going to be here with us much longer if he continues doing what he's doing," she says, voice tremulous.

Dr. Phil turns to Dominic. "You said the first day you got your license, you got your license, you went to the track, which was legal," he observes. "But the second day you started street racing, you said, because a) you didn't have to pay $65, and b) it was a lot more of an adrenaline rush."

"Yes," Dominic says.

Justin explains why he feels the need for speed. "I definitely get a rush out of street racing. I enjoy it. I love the cars, the feel of the car. I love being in control of the car," he tells Dr. Phil.

"How fast do you go, on average?" Dr. Phil asks Dominic.

"It depends with the car. With my old car, I would go maybe 100 miles per hour, just on the freeway. If I ever saw a policeman, I would always slow down," he replies.

"Good thinking," Dr. Phil says sarcastically. "You have a rule: Never pull over for the cops if they get after you during or after [a race]. You just don't stop; you run."

"Yes."

Dr. Phil addresses Justin. "How fast do you go?" he inquires.

"I've taken my car to 147, 145," Justin estimates.

"One hundred and forty seven miles per hour? On a street?" Dr. Phil inquires. 

"A highway," Justin replies.

"Did you inspect the highway before you did it?" Dr. Phil asks.

"It was completely clear."

"That's not what I asked," Dr. Phil says. "Do you know if there was anything lying in the highway or there was uneven sections of the highway coming together, anything like that?"

"I don't inspect everything, no," Justin admits. 
 

Pointing out that one of Dominic's tickets was for an exhibition of speed, Dr. Phil says, "You said you actually hope the cop's don't turn it in because you were really nice." Dr. Phil gestures to the monitor. "This is the ticket that you got and it hasn't been turned in, at this point," he observes.

"No, it hasn't," Dominic says.

"It looks like the ticket number up there is 413511," Dr. Phil says. He faces the camera. "So San Diego court system, police department, somehow or another, this one seems to be slipping through the cracks.

Dr. Phil introduces Sergeant Skip Showalter, who oversees the Dragnet program. Sgt. Showalter explains, "The Dragnet program started in San Diego P.D. We basically train officers throughout the state, mostly in southern California, on what to look for as far as illegal street races are concerned. We also conduct enforcements, a lot of which you don't see, undercover filming that we do."

"What do you think about these kids sitting up here saying, ‘Yeah, I'm going 119, 147. I'm out street racing'?" Dr. Phil asks.

"What amazes me is the fact that a lot of these racers don't think they're doing anything illegal. They think, ‘We're doing it at an hour where things are safe,'" Sgt. Showalter explains. "What they don't realize is people work all hours of the night. They work. They come home, and the people who are getting killed are people coming home from work, going out to get a bottle of milk, things of that nature."

"You actually have had a wreck. You hit a guardrail, right?" Dr. Phil asks Justin. "Were you speeding?"

"Yes."

Dr. Phil turns to Dominic. "You were in the car, right?" he asks.

"No, sir," Dominic replies.

"You've lied about that," Dr. Phil counters. "You said you were, then you said you weren't, then you said you were because you guys talked about it and thought that it might impact the insurance coverage on that. Are you lying? Were you in the car?"

"I was not in the car," Dominic insists.

"If you're lying, and it involved this insurance claim, then that could constitute fraud," Dr. Phil warns.

"I was not in the car," Dominic reiterates.

"Was he in the car or not?" Dr. Phil asks Justin.

"No, he wasn't. I had two other people in the car besides him," Justin replies. Then realizing his blunder, he says, "He was not in the car."

Dr. Phil hides a smile. "So you had two other people in the car besides him?" he asks.

 

"No, I meant two other people, not him," Justin clarifies.

Growing serious, Dr. Phil faces Dominic. "What the hell gives you the right to go on the streets that I'm traveling, driving your car 100 miles per hour?" he asks. "What gives you the right to do that?"

"No right," Dominic answers softly.

"Let me tell you something, my friend, that driver's license is a privilege," Dr. Phil says sternly. He turns to Susan. "Let me tell you something, Mom. Are you aware of something called foreseeability? In the legal system, if something happens and you couldn't foresee it happening, then that's just negligence. But if it's foreseeable, and you still allow it to take place, then that's called gross negligence. He has told us that his car is not running right now, and he said, ‘I'm not going to lie to Dr. Phil. If that car was running tomorrow, I would be street racing tomorrow.' Didn't you say that?"

"Yes, I did," Dominic says.

"In my defense, the first car, when he got his second ticket, I sold his car," Susan says. "The second car that he bought was a non-functional car."

"Where did he get the money for the second car?" Dr. Phil probes.

"That's his money," she says. "From his savings bonds."

"And he's how old?"

"He's 18," she replies.

"And he's living in your house?"

"Yes."

Dr. Phil is incredulous. "Are you trying to justify that this kid is out street racing because he can buy [a car] with his own money?" he asks.

"No," she replies. "Absolutely not."

"Let me tell you something: his driver's license can be taken away forever, if that's what it takes!" Dr. Phil cautions.

He turns to Dominic. "And let me tell you, you have screwed with the wrong guy here. I will haunt you until the end of the world," he warns. Turning to Justin, he says, "And I will haunt you until the end of the world Mr. 147. You do not have the right to operate that vehicle on a public highway at that speed and you wind up killing somebody."

Gesturing to Sgt. Showalter, Dr. Phil tells the teens, "If you think we can't get together and conspire to shut you boys down, you could not be more wrong. It is a privilege. And you either use that privilege responsibly, or you don't have the privilege."