D'IBERVILLE -- The driver in a hit-and-run with injuries early Sunday was not authorized to be driving because he had a learner's permit, not a license, police said.
Police have not released the name of the teenager, suspected of fleeing the scene after striking a 42-year-old man who was walking on a road side.
Tony Harrison of D'Iberville remained in critical condition Monday at the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile.
Witnesses told police Harrison was walking on the side of Lamey Bridge Road when he was hit by a vehicle at 1:06 a.m. Sunday. Harrison was flown to the Mobile hospital.
Police said a Harrison County deputy sheriff found the teen on Mississippi 67 and took him into custody.
"Having worked patrol, I can tell you it is not unusual for teenagers to get out and drive at all hours without having a license," D'Iberville police Lt. Terry Hines said.
Mississippi's graduated driver licensing law allows teens to get a learner's permit as young as 14, but it's only valid while the teen is practicing while accompanied by a driver's education instructor in a driver's education vehicle.
Otherwise, a learner's permit is available at age 15 and requires the teen driver be accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older. After at least a year, a teen can get an intermediate or Class Y license, which allows unsupervised driving between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Hines said the teen was arrested on misdemeanor charges of leaving the scene of an accident causing injury and operating a vehicle while not properly licensed.
A sample of the teen's blood was drawn for a toxicology test. Testing for the presence of drugs or alcohol is standard procedure after an accident involving injury.
The teen was released to his parents, Hines said.
It wasn't clear if the matter will be handled in youth court or if the case will be presented to a grand jury for possible prosecution as a felony.