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What Happens When BAC Is Below the Legal Limit?

buzzedWhen a person receives a DUI charge, most people think it means the individual was blowing a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08% or more. However, is it still possible to be arrested if the driver blows under the legal BAC limit? Let’s delve a little deeper into this question.

The simple answer is yes, even if they blow below the legal limit, a driver can be arrested for a DUI. That assertion is focused on the Florida law that says DUIs comprise more than just a 0.08 percent BAC in some cases.

According to Florida law, a person is guilty of a DUI if they are under the influence of alcoholic beverages and they are affected to the degree that the usual abilities of the person are impaired. Hence, this has little to do with a driver’s BAC and more to do with the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Consequently, if someone is intoxicated to the extent that they have trouble controlling a motor vehicle, there is the possibility of a DUI arrest.

It makes DUI offenses extremely subjective, regrettably, as the cop who pulls the driver over is the one who determines whether or not the driver is committing a DUI. This means officers are entitled to subjectively arrest people if they believe they are intoxicated to the point of being a danger to themselves or others.

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 red light camera violation attorney today.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Driving with Medical Marijuana

marijuana-1Do you have a medical marijuana card? Even if you purchase the marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary, you should carry it with you at all times as it may be necessary if you are pulled over by police.

The legalization of hemp in Florida back in July introduced a law enforcement challenge to find out when to apprehend a driver or seize a drug, because hemp smells and appears similar to cannabis, and is smokeable. Officers make use of a field test that can distinguish between marijuana and hemp, but not Palm Beach or Miami-Dade where the substance is confiscated and checked in a licensed laboratory.

Patients with medical marijuana must be able to produce a valid medical marijuana card if they are stopped with a cannabis product in their vehicle. Choosing not to show the card to an officer is a violation of the law— a misdemeanor of the second degree.

For drivers charged with a violation, you should know that if you are able to produce a Florida medical marijuana registry card that was valid when the charge occurred, either before or at the time of court appearance, you can’t be convicted.

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

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Google Maps Will Receive Real-Time Reporting

navigation-2049641_1280If you’ve used navigation apps on your smartphone, you may be familiar with Waze. The app stands out by allowing users to report incidents such as hazards on the road, the presence of police, and more in real-to,e. After Google purchased Waze in 2013, its own Google Maps received some traffic data from Waze but the two continued to operate independently.

Fast forward several years and Google Maps is now getting some of the real-time reporting features Waze users have been accustomed to and using for years. Users will soon be able to report road incidents including speed traps and accidents once Google pushes a new update for both Android users and those that use iOS devices like the iPhone.

In addition to being able to report accidents, Google is taking another page from its Waze app by adding the option to report construction zones, any lanes that may be closed, vehicles that are disabled, and debris that may be causing dangerous hazards on the road.

Do you have a preference between Google Maps or Waze? If so, will the new real-time reporting updates sway you to switch to Google Maps or do you prefer to stick to the longtime reliability of Waze?

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 we are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with one of the Miami criminal traffic lawyers today.

Avoiding a DUI

dui2You may be among the many people who appreciate an alcoholic beverage now and then. Maybe you like to head to the bar after a tough day at work or you like to come home and enjoy a glass of wine to ease the stresses of the day.

Because alcohol can be enjoyed nearly everywhere, it’s imperative to remember that a drink can be relaxing, even a single may land you in trouble. In Florida and throughout the United States, you may be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) even if your blood-alcohol level (BAL) is below the .08% legal limit. If alcohol is affecting your ability to operate a vehicle safely, you may face DUI charges. Hence, if you only have a glass or two or you wait it out so that the body has time to “sober up” before it’s time to hit the road, it may be wise to avoid taking the risk and avoid driving entirely if possible.

If you have a friend or family member that’s avoided drinking, use them as your designated driver. If that person is unreliable, a wiser option is to leave the vehicle keys at home and use a cab or ridesharing services like Uber. These options may require money but they’re much, much cheaper than the costs of a DUI or worse, a major injury or death.

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

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Miami Has Some of the Country’s Best Drivers

miami-1238397_1280-1Miami isn’t known for its great drivers yet if a recent study is to be believed, “The Magic City” is in the top ten of the best driving cities in the United States. The study gathered data from numerous insurance quotes. Each city was then broken down by how its amount of accidents, the number of speeding tickets, as well as citations, and DUIs. Miami earned high marks for its DUI rates and good scores, coming in just below cities like Louisville, Chicago, and Detroit.

Miami was one of four cities in Florida that managed to make the list of best drivers. Coming in ninth, 23rd, and 35th place were Fort Myers, Orlando, and Jacksonville, respectively. For those curious about which cities in the country fared worse, Portland, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho were among the list.

You may be curious as to Miami managed to now have some of the best drivers in the country. One reason may be the significant drop in tickets being written. Back in 2017, the number of issued tickets decreased by more than twenty percent due to issues with ticketing book scarcity and electronic ticketing.

To read more, visit https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article236208048.html.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket lawyer 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.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

What to Do at DUI Checkpoints

copsIf you’ve never encountered a DUI checkpoint, it’s worth knowing what you need to do in this scenario. Legally, you are required to stop as these checkpoints are considered reasonable search and seizure here in Florida. During these checkpoints, a police offer may stop you and request your license or they may ask that you take a sobriety test if there is a suspicion that you are under the influence.

For starters, DUI checkpoints need to be announced to the public, including the location and the date the checkpoint will be taking place. There are various apps or websites you can use to obtain this information. If you do approach the checkpoint, you have the option of refusing to do the field test if the officer requests that you do so because they believe you may be intoxicated. This test involves the customary standing on one leg, turning and walking, and the horizontal gaze test. If you do refuse this test, however, the refusal may be deemed suspicious. An officer may then request a breathalyzer which, if refused, carries immediate repercussions.

If involved in a DUI checkpoint, take it easy. Being irritable or worried may cause an officer to suspect something. Should an officer request that you exit the vehicle, do so. You don’t have to answer an officer’s questions. If you have been drinking, strongly consider requesting an attorney. Providing wrong answers may lead to incriminating yourself. Even if you decide to remain silent, show politeness and avoid confrontation.

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

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Don’t Hold Your Phone in the School Pick-Up Line

jumpingBy now you’re probably aware of the new law that went into effect on Tuesday making it illegal to use your phone while driving through a construction, work, or school zone. The law extends Florida’s texting while driving ban, making it illegal to even hold the phone while you’re in or driving through these zones.

The new laws may require some acclimating to avoid running afoul of the law. For example, if you have school-age children, you may be accustomed to using your phone while waiting in the pick-up line for your child. You may be using your phone to communicate with them or someone else as you wait but unless you’re using a hands-free solution, holding your phone while in the pick-up line is illegal.

For the time being, police officers are giving drivers warnings instead of tickets to raise awareness of the new law and so drivers have time to adjust. However, this will be changing once January 1, 2020, comes around which is when officers will begin writing tickets. These citations will start at $60 for anyone who commits a first time offense and it will also add three points to a driver’s license.

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 red light camera violation attorney today.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Florida Senator Seeks to Increase Penalties for Passing a School Bus

schoolBusWhen a school bus is stopped and has its STOP sign out, Florida drivers are required to stop so students can cross the street safely to get on or off the bus. You’ve probably noticed, however, that some drivers will speed right by the school bus, illegally passing it. Besides being illegal, this also puts the safety of the schoolchildren at risk.

A Florida State senator is now looking to do something about this situation by ramping up the penalties for people that fail to stop for school buses that are picking up or dropping off students. Called SB 290, should the bill pass all of the hurdles and go into effect in July of next year, fines for people who fail to stop for a school bus will be increased from $100 to $200. If the person is once again caught committing the crime within five years, they will have their license suspended for a minimum of 180 days or as long as a year.

Additionally, SB 290 would require a $400 fine versus a $200 penalty should a driver illegally pass a school bus on the side where children are boarding or getting off the school bus while the bus has its stop sign displayed. Should the person commit the crime again within five years, their license will be suspended for a minimum of 360 days and up to two years.

For more information, visit https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2020/290/?Tab=BillHistory.

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 we are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with one of the Miami criminal traffic lawyers today.

Florida’s Cell Phone Law Will Soon Go into Effect

mobile-616012_1280Do you tend to grab your phone while driving? If so, you may want to get into the habit of not touching it unless necessary. Beginning Tuesday, October 1, Florida law enforcement officers will have the authority to pull over drivers caught using their cell phone while driving in or through a designated school crossing, school zone, or a construction/work zone.

With the new law, drivers are not allowed to even hold their phone while traveling through these zones. Instead, they must rely on using a hands-free solution should they wish to talk to on the phone while they are in these zones. Drivers that are caught will receive a warning until January 1, 2020, which is when law enforcement officers will begin charging drivers with a moving violation. This violation may include a $60 fine and other fees plus three points on the license.

While hands-free technology is a bit safer than either texting or holding the phone to your ear, it also has its risks. According to research from AAA, drivers encounter may become mentally distracted while using voice technology to send a text message, play a song, or dial a phone number. This distraction can stick around for nearly thirty seconds.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket lawyer 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.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Florida Law Enforcement Chooses Warnings

teen-girl-texting-while-driving-pvHow are things going with Florida’s texting while driving law which went into effect back in July? Just over 500 drivers have received a traffic ticket after being caught texting while driving, according to the Miami Herald. Those numbers mean about seven tickets per day are being written.

If the numbers seem unusually low, it’s likely on purpose. Law enforcement officers including Florida Highway Patrol are choosing to give drivers warnings instead of tickets so they can be aware of the new law. More than 400 warnings have been given between July and September but things will be changing once the “grace period” ends in January and police forgo warnings and begin issuing tickets. Additionally, another part of the law will go into effect starting next month. Drivers can be pulled over if they are caught using their phones in a work or school zone.

The texting while driving law isn’t entirely new. It’s been around and has remained illegal well before July but it wasn’t considered a primary offense at the time. This meant police officers would need to pull a driver over for another reason such as speeding before they could write a ticket for texting while driving.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket lawyer 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.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.