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Florida_move_over_law_2.jpgOur 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.

PRESS RELEASE Move Over, Florida! It’s the Law, August 21, 2009 Continue reading

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.
 

 

Denver WR Marshall acquitted, KansasCity.com, August 15, 2009 Continue reading

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 Continue reading

Florida_red_light.jpgTwo 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 Continue reading

OAKLAND PARK, Florida – Police Agencies in Broward County will be conducting a DUI sobriety checkpoint Friday, August 21, 2009 in Oakland Park at 1701 East Oakland Park Boulevard.

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The Oakland Park Boulevard corridor in Broward County has been fertile ground for DUI arrests for quite some time. After an evening on Fort Lauderdale beach, many people utilize Oakland Park Boulevard as a means to access I-95. The road is usually heavily patrolled and has a number of speed limit variations that officers utilize in order to justify their traffic stops.

Sobriety checkpoint Friday in Oakland Park, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, August 20, 2009.

Troopers plan sobriety checkpoint Friday in Oakland Park, Miami Herald, August 20, 2009.
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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.

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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.

New officer focuses on the victims, Miami Herald, August 16, 2009 Continue reading

Florida_texting_drivers.jpgOur South Florida traffic attorneys have learned that Parkland Commissioner Jared Moskowitz plans to ask the City Commission to pass a ban on texting while driving within Parkland’s city limits. They would become the first city in Broward County to pass such a ban.

The main argument in favor of the ban is that text messaging behind the wheel creates a dangerous and unnecessary distraction. In fact, a recent study by a vehicle safety research organization found that drivers who text while behind the wheel of a car or other motor vehicle are 23 times more likely to crash than other drivers. Another study out of Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute found that the average text message takes the driver’s eyes away from the road for 4.6 out of every six seconds.

However, critics worry that it could be difficult to enforce the ban, because some drivers don’t know when they enter city limits and it could be hard for law enforcement officials to see if someone is texting while they’re driving upwards of 30 mph.

The fines for texting behind the wheel have yet to be determined, but they could mirror similar laws in other states. For instance, California fines drivers $20 for their first offense. Lawmakers say they are still pushing for a statewide ban on texting while driving.

Parkland could become first Broward city to crack down on texting while driving, South Florida Sun Sentinel, August 17, 2009 Continue reading

In Juno Beach, Florida, community members are divided on the issue of a mobile white van that was added four months ago to monitor speeding drivers. The van has already resulted in about 4,000 traffic citations, generating over $250,000 in revenue for the town. It catches an average of 35 speeding drivers per day.

If someone is traveling more than 9 mph over the speed limit, they are mailed a $125 citation for the first offense. The fee doubles for second offenders. The citation is a civil penalty that does not go on the driver’s record; however, their driver’s license can be suspended if the fine is not paid after 60 days.

 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS11vybH9m8
 

According to town officials, the unmanned van frees up police officers for more important tasks while ensuring that drivers are traveling at a safe speed. However, some members of the community allege that the van is purely a cash cow for the town. In fact, some say the van causes unsafe conditions because drivers slam on their brakes when they see the van.

Juno Beach counts the money as unmanned van boosts speeding tickets, PalmBeachPost.com August 10, 2009 Continue reading

Florida_breathalyzers.jpgLast week, the Lakeland Police Department introduced its latest tool in fighting drunk driving. Their new 2009 Dodge Charger is fully equipped with an in-car Breathalyzer testing system. Police say their new vehicle will half the time it takes to perform a blood-alcohol test.

Before LPD received the Dodge Charger “police package,” which comes with front and rear radar in addition to the Breathalyzer unit, police had to process a Breathalyzer test about an hour after the initial stop. Police say that having a quicker testing time will make DUI cases stronger in court. The car was given to the police department by the Florida Department of Transportation and began patrolling Lakeland’s streets last week.

The vehicle is valued at around $55,000.

LPD’s Dodge Charger Has A Breathalyzer on Board, The Ledger, August 3, 2009 Continue reading

After November 1, 2009, the State of Florida will no longer issue both a Florida Driver’s License and a State identification card to Florida residents. After November 1, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles will no longer issue I.D. cards to individuals who already have a Florida driver’s license. If you currently hold both a driver’s license and an identification card, you may continue to use both as proof of identification until your next driver’s license issuance.

Broward Traffic Attorney

It’s a good idea to obtain a Florida I.D. card in addition to your driver’s license before it’s too late. Having an additional form of identification can come in very handy especially if one is lost or misplaced. Be sure to keep the driver’s license and the identification card in two separate locations.
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