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Stay Safe This Weekend with Tow to Go

HelpForTheInebriatedWith many people likely to get Monday off, it’s going to be a long, festive weekend as we approach the Fourth of July festivities. Last time we discussed the importance of considering a ridesharing app to transport someone who may be inebriated. For those that may need an alternative to Uber and Lyft, AAA Auto Club is joining forces with Budweiser once again to launch their “Tow to Go” program.

Tow to Go allows drivers that have had a little too much to drink a safe ride. Best of all, the service will be free during the holiday weekend and drivers are not even required to be AAA members to make use of it. The program was launched back in 1998 and has helped over 20,000 inebriated drivers to stay off the roads, saving countless lives and making the roads a little safer for everyone.

There is certain Tow to Go guidelines to be aware of. The ride is limited to a ten-mile radius to a safe location and drivers cannot use it to make an appointment. The service is meant as a last resort and drivers are still expected to have a designated driver. Should the driver be too intoxicated to be transported safely, AAA may contact law enforcement for assistance.

The number for Tow to Go is 855-286-9246 and it begins on June 30th through July 5th.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami traffic lawyer today.

Don’t Risk a DUI, Use Ridesharing

unnamedWith plenty of people celebrating the Fourth of July next week, there will be many drivers on the road, including drunk ones, unfortunately. If you’re planning on drinking and don’t think you’ll have a designated driver available to help you get safely home, consider a ridesharing app such as Uber or Lyft so that you arrive home without risking a DUI or something worse.

If you are planning on ridesharing, there are certain rules of etiquette you should follow to make the trip more pleasant for you as well as the Uber or Lyft driver. For starters, don’t call for the ride until you’re ready. Making the driver wait is rude, and if you’re living in an area that may be hard to find, have the courtesy to text them.

Most, if not all Uber and Lyft drivers use their own vehicles to drive passengers around. Be courteous and clean up after yourself. If you eat something, don’t leave crumbs or a bottle behind. If you feel the driver did a good job or was especially courteous, Uber recently began rolling out tipping. Either consider leaving a tip or at the very least give the driver a good star rating for helping you get safely home.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a professional about fighting your Miami civil traffic tickets.

The 411 on Red Light Camera Tickets

redLightHere’s an interesting fact about Florida’s red light statute: the way that it’s enforced is not universal. Indeed, enforcement may vary depending on which city or county you happen to be in and how someone who has been ticketed goes about a resolution.

Much like speed traps, red light cameras provide a considerable amount of revenue for not only the city but also the state. These tickets result in thousands of drivers having their licenses suspended every year. What’s more, close to forty percent of these suspensions happen right here in South Florida, in Miami-Dade County to be specific according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).

Recently, a judge suspended the licenses of more than ten Florida drivers who failed to pay the violation and also failed to show up to court once the violation became a Uniform Traffic Violation. Many drivers remain unaware of the tickets until it’s too late and they discover they’ve had their licenses suspended.

Per the DHSMV, over a million people received red-light camera violation notices in 2016. By the end of the year, over 300,00 of them were listed as unpaid. If the violation remains unpaid, it becomes a traffic citation, which does not carry any points but will appear on a driver’s record.

Do you have questions about red light camera tickets? Give us a call.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

Small Changes on I-97 Yield Major Results

i95For those of you traveling northbound on I-95 in Broward County, you’re going to notice a welcome change. To the surprise of just about everyone who has ever traveled through there, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has gone ahead and switched up the traffic pattern just north of Sheridan Street.

When the FDOT added express lanes in the county, it resulted in a merge on Griffin Road. Unfortunately, this merge meant that any driver traveling in one of the fast lanes would be caught by surprise, forcing them to merge to the right and slow down. This sudden slowdown could cause confusion while also causing significant traffic backups, bottlenecks, and accidents. In fact, ever since the merge was implemented last year, crashes in that particular area ended up doubling.

Since the new traffic pattern was implemented a month ago, the number of accidents has decreased dramatically compared to 2016, by more than eighty percent in fact. The traffic snarl is pretty much entirely gone, improving a driver’s commute by about ten to fifteen minutes. These minutes are invaluable during the rush hour commute.

Do you frequently travel in or near the Broward County I-95 express lanes? If so, what do you think of the new changes?

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

Use Your Turn Signal, It’s the Law

turnSignalFun fact: the turning signal, or blinker, has been a staple safety feature in vehicles since it was introduced way back in 1939. Yet if you’ve spent any time on the Miami roadways, you’ve probably noticed many drivers don’t use it. With a turning signal, a driver can indicate that he or she intends to change lanes or make a turn, potentially preventing collisions while also reducing the odds of road rage. Another fun fact Florida drivers may not be aware of: it’s also required by law to use it.

“Turn signal neglect” has become a major problem. Drivers who’ve chosen not to use it are responsible for over a million collisions every year across the country per research provided by the Society of Automotive Engineers. What’s even more startling is that these collisions are more than twice those caused by another driving epidemic: distracted driving.

There is a theory that if a driver uses their turn signal, the vehicle(s) around it will feel as if they are about to be cut off or will end up falling behind, which in turn causes them to accelerate. It’s common for road rage to occur due to a driver intentionally speeding up to prevent another driver from coming into their lane when using their turn signal.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket lawyer team of team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami speeding ticket lawyer today.

 

Raining? Don’t Use Your Hazard Lights

elHazardSouth Florida’s rainy season is kicking off soon and that means you may start to see a rather annoying occurrence on the roads: drivers using their hazard lights. In case you didn’t already know, driving with these hazard lights on is considered illegal in Florida, even if it’s raining. Numerous drivers still fail to understand this, thinking that these lights need to be on during a heavy downpour.

Keep this in mind: you’re not doing fellow drivers any favors by driving with your hazard lights on. During a heavy storm, this may actually confuse others by making them think your vehicle is stopped or stalled. Speaking of, it is only when you are, in fact, stopped or stalled or are in an emergency situation that your hazard lights should be on. The only time you can legally drive with the hazard lights on is if you’re part of a funeral procession.

While you may have good intentions by turning on your hazard lights, don’t do it. Not only are you risking the possibility of receiving a ticket for doing something illegal, you’re also unintentionally confusing other drivers and making the roads more dangerous.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a professional about fighting your Miami civil traffic tickets.

What Exactly Is an Expungement?

expungeOne of the things we specialize in is expungement, but have you wondered what that even is? Let’s say you’re arrested but end up having your charges dropped. In such a scenario, you may have the option of having your record expunged. This can be applied to the majority of crimes provided you’ve never been adjudicated guilty of a crime or have had your record expunged previously. A record expungement carries a lot of weight because even if your charges are dropped by the state, the arrest itself will still show up on your record. With an expungement, you’re legally allowed to deny that you were ever arrested.

Should you run into a scenario where you’re found guilty of a crime or enter a plea and the judge chooses to withhold adjudication of guilt, or if you’re acquitted after a jury trial, things change. In this situation, you’ll be eligible for a record seal as opposed to an expungement. This will allow you to legally deny that you were arrested, but only to the public at large. Certain parties such as law enforcement may still be able to access your criminal record. With a record seal, the majority of employers won’t be able to learn about your criminal record.

If you have questions about having your record expunged, give us a call!

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

Drive Safe During Prom Celebrations

promThis month, a number of high school students will be participating in the rite of passage known as prom. This means numerous teenagers will be out on the roads, and there are strong odds most of them will be using their smartphones to snap selfies and pictures of their experience. Since May is National Teen Safe Driving Month, it’s important that teenage drivers remember to focus their attention on the road, and not on their mobile device.

Research alarmingly shows many drivers are distracting themselves by taking selfies, sharing photos and videos on Instagram, and in some cases even video chatting while they’re driving. To avoid the odds of becoming a statistic, consider some of the following tips.

Sharing is caring, and one way to encourage friends not to drive distracted is to tag your pictures and videos with the hashtag #TagYourHalf. Research indicates that peer pressure may influence someone to stop using their phone while driving. The hashtag is a way of encouraging someone close to you such as a best friend from doing something they shouldn’t.

Consider using an app with a driving mode feature. AT&T has an app called DriveMode that is available to Android and iPhone users regardless of what carrier they’re on. The app will silence phone calls and alerts to lessen distractions. It is also intelligent enough to determine when a driver is stopped or the vehicle is in motion.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

 

Florida’s Distracted Driving Laws Fall Through the Cracks

yougonnaDieAre you fed up with drivers endangering the roads as they text? You’re going to have to put up with it for at least another year. Several bills aimed at distracted driving that were up for Florida Legislature review didn’t even make it to a hearing.

Some of the bills that failed to see any progress were HB 47 which would have given police the authority to ticket drivers caught texting while driving in a school zone. A law that would have allowed law enforcement to pull over drivers age 18 and under caught texting behind the wheel also failed to gain any traction.

And so, with little progress made towards stricter texting while driving laws, it will remain a secondary offense in the state of Florida. In case you don’t know what this means, it means a law enforcement officer must see the driver commit a primary offense such as running a stop sign or speeding before they are allowed to receive a texting citation.

The bills aside, distracted driving remains a major problem in the country. Fatalities due to distracted drivers increased by more than eight percent in 2015. In Florida alone, over 200 people were killed in 2015 crashes where distracted driving was involved.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket lawyer team of team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami speeding ticket lawyer today.

Miami’s Distracted Roads

livingDangerouslyDespite a greater number of states deeming it a primary offense, distracted driving continues to be a major problem. Per the National Safety Council, driving deaths have shot up by more than thirteen percent since 2015.

A company is looking to tackle distracted driving by using one of the primary reasons behind it: mobile apps. Calling itself DriveWell, the app will run in the background and is capable of measuring use by sensing when someone has the phone in their hand or when a vehicle is in motion.

Interestingly, DriveWell has also collected enough data to determine what roads have the most distracted drivers. Here in Miami, Brickell Avenue from Southeast 6th Street to 15th Street has the dubious distinction of being the most distracted stretch of road. Coming in second is a portion of 3rd Avenue in Coral Way from Southwest 12th Avenue to 24th Road while the north end of US1, from Brickell Avenue to Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables comes in third.

The DriveWell is available for download but registration requires a token, so it may not be available for use to the general public if you’re curious to try it. Remember to keep your eyes focused on the road at all times.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami traffic lawyer today.