Our South Florida traffic attorneys have learned that the Florida Highway Patrol will be targeting violators of the Move Over Law now through September 7. The Move Over Law mandates that drivers move over one lane whenever an emergency vehicle has its lights activated on the side of the road. In cases where moving over is not a realistic option, drivers are required to slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
Florida’s Move Over Law was adopted in 2002 after several incidents where emergency response personnel were killed or injured while stopped at the side of the road. Over the last ten years, more than 150 law enforcement officers across the country have been hit and killed by passing motorists while performing duties on highways.
The Florida Highway Patrol is teaming up with law enforcement agencies across the state through Labor Day to raise awareness and ensure compliance to the Move Over Law. The Patrol create Public Service Announcements and will distribute brochures at traffic stops. Both are available in Spanish and English versions.
Our South Florida criminal defense attorneys have been following a news story out of Atlanta involving Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall, 25.
Marshall’s ex-girlfriend Rasheedah Watley had accused him of pushing her on a bed and grabbing her neck. She testified in court that he had assaulted her during several incidents at the condo they shared in March of last year. Her attorneys showed photos demonstrating Watley’s face and neck the morning after the alleged fight. Marshall has been arrested at least four times since March of 2006.
A jury of four women and two men acquitted Marshall of domestic violence charges in less than an hour. He missed a game last season after violating the personal conduct policy. Marshall’s suspension had been reduced from three games to one.
On Friday, the Florida Department of Transportation announced that it is stepping up enforcement of drunk driving laws statewide. As part of the annual, nationwide “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” enforcement and outreach campaign, law enforcement officials throughout Florida will be aggressively searching for impaired drivers and will arrest anyone found driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Last year, Florida had over 22,200 alcohol-related crashes. There were more than 1,100 alcohol-related fatalities and more than 15,700 alcohol-related injuries throughout the state.
The crackdown will continue through Labor Day, since Labor Day weekend is often the deadliest time for Florida drivers. In 2008, 36 people died on Florida roads during the holiday weekend and a third of those fatalities were alcohol-related. More than 10,000 police agencies across the country are participating in this law enforcement effort.
PRESS RELEASE: Florida Law Enforcement to Launch Statewide Crackdown on Impaired and Unsafe Driving, August 21, 2009 (more…)
Two separate lawsuits involving red-light cameras in Aventura and Temple Terrace, Florida have officials in Pembroke Pines worried that their Broward city could be next. Critics of the red light cameras assert that the cameras violate drivers’ due process rights. A few months earlier, Florida’s legislature killed a bill that would have allowed municipalities to install red-light cameras at intersections.
In response to these concerns, city officials are working to amend their contact with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) so that ATS would shoulder part of the burden of any lawsuits.
Last March, Pembroke Pines became the first city in Broward County to fine drivers for speeding using red-light cameras. The first camera is at Pines Boulevard and 129th Avenue. They have since added five more, and violators are fined $125.
Twelve other Broward County municipalities are either researching this option or are about to vote on it. Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, and Hallandale Beach have all approved red-light camera programs, despite it being a legal gray area.
Pembroke Pines fears red light camera lawsuits, South Florida Sun Sentinel, August 16, 2009
Pembroke Pines to discuss red-light cameras tonight, South Florida Sun Sentinel, August 19, 2009 (more…)
According to a recent article in the Miami Herald, the police department of Davie, Florida is partnering with Women in Distress (a state-certified domestic violence center serving Broward County) to add a new full time position devoted to investigating domestic violence. Davie Detective Mark Brent is a former burglary detective who has been named to this new position. The move is part of a broader initiative to track trends and monitor domestic violence cases more closely.
According to Brent, his new position differs from investigating burglaries because often suspects can’t be found. Most domestic violence cases have an identifiable suspect, and the suspect can often be tracked if police respond to multiple domestic violence calls at the same address.
The town of Davis reported 266 cases of domestic violence in the first six months of this year. In 2008, the total was 446, and in 2007, it was 361, so this could signal a dangerous trend. Across the country, a woman is battered by her husband, boyfriend, or live-in partner every nine seconds, according to Women in Distress of Broward County.
Florida Criminal Lawyers