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May 2012 Archives

DUI Hotlines - How Effective Are They?

Many, if not all, states have some form of a DUI hotline because state officials believe that every citizen should report any driver who appears to be drunk to 911 or the local jurisdiction. Officials at the DUI Foundation believe that "Leaving a tip can lead to a faster response time by officials." The DUI Foundation believes that a driver who spots a potential drunk driver should report the following information; location; direction headed; make and model of the vehicle; license plate number; and a description of the driver.

Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend Safely

There is probably no better three day weekend across the United States than Memorial Day Weekend. For some people in the northern states, it means the end of winter and is typically a "summer like" day. For the kids, it is the end of a grueling year at school, and they know that this weekend marks the beginning of carefree summer days ahead. In Orlando, this is a great weekend too, and there are the theme parks, tourists venues and of course, miles and miles of beach.  We enjoy the time off, but we always give our thoughts and hearts to our troops while we're comfortable in safety, surrounded by friends and family.  

Legality of Flashing Headlights to Warn Motorists of Speed Traps

oncoming headlights at nightImagine the following scenario: As you are driving on a roadway anywhere in the country, an oncoming motorist flashes his bright lights at you. Many drivers learn from a young age that this standard warning means that a speed trap or law enforcement waits up ahead. However, in Florida, the freedom of motorists to communicate this standard warning was being threatened. Law enforcement routinely cited drivers who flicker their high beams at other motorists. In May 2012, in Seminole County, Florida, a judge ruled that drivers have the right to flash their car bright lights to oncoming drivers as a warning to other motorists about the presence of police or speed traps on the road. He based his ruling on the constitutional right of free speech through the use of communication with others through their headlights. 

Will Marijuana DUIs Ever Happen?

With 16 states now allowing medical marijuana use, there are several states stepping up to the plate to see that marijuana use is not accepted at the expense of other citizens. This week the Colorado Senate voted for the third time to pass a "DUI" for marijuana amendment. This would allow a blood test to determine the level of marijuana in a driver who appeared "too stoned," similar to administering a BAC to test alcohol in drunk drivers. The final vote on Tuesday was 17 to 17 --the Colorado Senate tied and the bill failed again. Those in favor brought evidence that there have been more arrests that related to marijuana use. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also brought data that there have been more drivers involved in fatal accidents in Colorado testing positive for THC.

New Youth Program Aims At Reducing Arrests

Orange and Osceola counties have enacted new regulations concerning first-time juvenile offenders. Many non-violent offenses now will be subjected to a civil fine for their offenses instead of being arrested. The counties, in conjunction with the youth justice and police departments, believe that there are many benefits to handling minor offenses in this manner. The largest benefit will be to the youth themselves. Criminal records can follow these children into their future, making it harder to find gainful employment. By giving the youth a ticket instead, the children can avoid a criminal record and learn from their mistakes. For the counties involved, they anticipate that there will be a large reduction in arrests, making an already strained system much more effective for more serious crimes. 

Mock Drivers Show Real Results for DUI Awareness

mock crash in front of teensSeveral high schools in South Florida are effectively using "mock car crashes" every year to demonstrate the dangers of driving under the influence to students. Whether viewed as a DUI or DWI, kids who typically view life with a sense of youthful invincibility are being brought face to face with the death and destruction of driving while impaired.  These demonstrations tend to happen frequently during prom week, when students tend to drink and drive more.

40 Year Old Crime Still Affects Record

Back in 1972, 18-year-old Yolanda Quesada faced a dilemma that concerned paying for the clothes she needed for work at a Milwaukee department store. Because of the dire financial situation her family was in, acquiring the clothing through theft seemed to be the only option. Unfortunately, she was caught by a security guard on that attempt. Since it was her first offense, the 18-year old received a $50 fine and promised not to steal again.

Florida DUI Sentences Depend on Mixture of Factors

What you do after a Florida DUI charge matters. At sentencing, judges have significant discretion in choosing the punishment that best fits the crime. The actions you take - and the DUI defense lawyer you choose - can go a long way toward generating a favorable outcome.

Central Florida Crime Increases Steadily While the Rest of State Drops

graph of crime rate in orlando, floridaIn recent years, the crime rate in Florida has fluctuated quite a bit, and now has fortunately diminished for most of Florida, as a recent round up of police files confirms. This positive trend doesn't particularly apply to central Florida, especially for counties such as Osceola, Volusia, and Orange, which saw instances of crime increase. Orlando deals with bouts of crime because of its status as a larger city, but in terms of Floridian cities since it has consistently had crime rates similar to larger cities such as Jacksonville and Miami. But as of late, Florida's entirety of crime rate has managed to shrink while the central Florida has increased.

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