Our South Florida traffic attorneys have learned that the Florida Highway Patrol will bulk up its patrols on July 30 and 31 in an effort to reduce driving hazards on the Florida Turnpike and interstate highways. Troopers will be cracking down on drivers who tailgate, speed, run traffic lights, change lanes without warning, violate the Move Over Law, or drive under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Troopers will use RADAR, VASCAR, LASER, video cameras, and unmarked patrol vehicles as part of this special enforcement campaign called Be Smart, Drive Smart Florida! In addition, the Florida Highway Patrol will use its aircraft to watch for potentially unsafe drivers. Enforcement will be focused on Florida’s Turnpike, every interstate, and other major state roads in Florida.
Although there are no additional fines or points for aggressive driving, when a trooper stops someone for aggressive driving, the driver receives a traffic citation for the offenses committed and the troopers checks an “aggressive driving” box on the citation. Judges may impose higher fines or require the defendant to enroll in an aggressive driving course if they see the box checked on the citation.
Sexting, sending sexually explicit photos via text message, is a growing problem among Florida teens. The results can be embarrassing to teen girls, but it can also result in criminal charges for both the sender and the recipient.
Under Florida law, the each image is a felony punishable by up to five years behind bars. Both sexes are equally culpable under the law. Sexting is considered a child pornography case, according to a Broward Sheriff’s Office detective. A 2007 Orlando case involving an 18-year-old boy and his 16-year-old girlfriend brought the issue to the attention of Florida law enforcement officials. The boy emailed nude photos of his girlfriend to people out of revenge and is now listed on the state sex-offender registry.
Prosecutors in the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office say that the office is drafting a policy to address sexting, since it has become such a widespread problem. Miami-Dade County schools hopes to have an anti-sexting initiative in place by the time school starts in August.
Sexting: Both sender and receiver can face charges, Sun Sentinel, July 27, 2009 (more…)
According to the Florida Times-Union, the number of DUI accidents have remained more or less consistent between 2000 and 2007. That number fluctuates between about 22,000 and 24,000 each year, according to recently released stats. However, DUI-related deaths have been increasing by more than 19 percent. In 2000, there were 979. Last year, that number had increased to 1,169.
Attitudes towards drunk driving have shifted since the 1970s for several reasons. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was formed in 1980, insisting that law enforcement officials and the public take DUI more seriously. The national drinking age increased to 21, and 0.08 blood alcohol level became the standard across the country.
A nationwide roadside survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1973 found that 7.5 percent of drivers had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. That figure fell to 2.2 percent in 2007. The executive director of MADD of North Florida said that future efforts to prevent drunk driving may focus more on education, rather than tightening the laws.
Our South Florida traffic attorneys recently read about a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) trooper with a 12 year history of service who says he was terminated for not writing enough traffic tickets. According to Bay News 9, former trooper Chris Maul left for six months and was put on a routine probation period when he returned.
In May, Maul made 44 arrests, including four for DUI. Despite getting a positive review during his quarterly evaluation, Maul was later told that d his level of activity wasn’t going cut it. He was terminated in June.
Florida statutes prohibit the FHP from setting up a quota system for citations. Bay News 9’s calls to the Florida Highway Patrol were not returned.
Former FHP trooper: I was fired for not writing enough tickets, Tampa Bay News, July 15, 2009 (more…)
A Florida woman faces charges in the deaths of two teens who were killed after leaving a party in her home. The woman allegedly hosted several parties in her home and participated in illegal activities alongside the party guests, many of whom were under the legal drinking age of 21. The parties had reportedly been happening for several months until they ended in a fiery car crash.
Two teens died in a DUI accident on January 12 just minutes after leaving one of the women’s parties. The teen driver’s blood-alcohol level was 0.18 percent. Both of the teens tested positive for drugs, according to a report.
The mother who hosted these parties has been indicted on two counts of manslaughter and four counts of holding open house parties and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. If the d and the woman is convicted and the conviction is upheld in any possible appeals, then case could become a new precedent for Florida prosecutors.
Florida Criminal Lawyers