According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, emergency dispatchers not only deal with calls regarding domestic abuse or drunk driving, but also complaints regarding a MacDonald’s that ran out of chicken nuggets and a man who couldn’t find the TV remote.
These calls (some of them pranks, others from people who are drunk, high, lonely, or just plain crazy) may seem harmless, but they actually are a real problem and detract from true emergencies needing immediate assistance. In fact, abuse of an emergency line is a first-degree misdemeanor publishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,00 fine.
Fortunately, they represent only a small number of the 240 million 911 calls received across the country each yeah. In Palm Beach County, the Sheriff’s Office gets about a million calls a year, 30 to 40% of which are non-emergency calls. Of those, only a small number are harassing or troublesome calls.
Although we don’t recommend this, we couldn’t resist sharing this video of a Florida woman who dialed 911 and tried to order takeout:
Source: 911 calls can cross line into wackiness, South Florida Sun Sentinel, September 13, 2010
Contact our Delray Beach criminal defense attorneys if you have been charged with a crime such as abuse of an emergency line.