animal cruelty laws in california

Animal Abuse Now Illegal at the Federal Level

animal cruelty laws in california

Winter hasn’t even officially arrived yet and already California is beginning to see winter weather. This means that all pet owners should get ready to really start taking care of their pets this winter. This is especially true for pets who spend a lot of time outdoors. Failing to do so can get a person into trouble for animal abuse here in California.

On top of that, a new law has been signed into effect at the federal level surrounding animal abuse. This means that if a person abuses an animal, they can face charges at both the state and federal level.

The PACT Act

Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a federal law that prevents animal cruelty here in the United States until recently. The only thing that came close was the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act that was signed into law back in 2010. That law only made it a crime to abuse an animal if the person filmed it. This law came about in response to a horrible internet trend where small animals were crushed by people stepping on them and then the videos were uploaded online.

This law had an unfortunate loophole that meant people who abused animals but didn’t film the act would not get into trouble, at least at the federal level. Luckily, many states have their own laws about animal abuse that likely covered the issue.

However, this has all changed thanks to a new law recently signed into effect. The Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act was passed through Congress and signed into law by President Trump. Under this new federal law, it is now illegal for a person to purposefully burn, crush, drown, suffocate, impale, or perform any other violent act that causes serious bodily injury to an animal.

If a person is caught breaking this law, they can face federal felony charges, fines, and up to 7 years in prison.

Animal Abuse in California

Here in California, animal abuse is outlawed by Penal Code (PC) 597. PC 597 is what is known as a wobbler offense, this means it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the facts of the case and the person’s criminal record.

When charged as a misdemeanor, a person faces:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $20,000.

When charged as a felony, a person faces:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $20,000.

Some additional consequences for both levels of the charges can include:

  • Having the animal permanently removed from the abuser’s care.
  • Paying for the housing costs of the animal during the trial.
  • Completing counseling as a part of probation.
  • An extra year added to the sentence if the abuse involved a deadly weapon.

Take Care of Animals

Animals are living creatures just like humans and they deserve the same care and respect as people. They also deserve the same protections, which is what this new federal law provides. Now, no matter where a person is in the United States, if they abuse an animal, they will face federal charges.

This law comes at a good time of year. With all of the cold weather of winter, pet owners need to take the proper precautions to keep their animal healthy and safe. Failing to do so can get them into legal trouble here in California, and maybe even at the federal level as well.

What do you think of the country’s new animal abuse law? Is it about time, or did we really need this law at all? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Stay-Safe-While-Shopping

Shop Safely This Holiday Season

Stay-Safe-While-Shopping

Thanksgiving has come and gone and that means everyone can officially begin their Christmas preparations. While this means it is time for a whole lot of decorating, it also means it is time to get the final bits of Christmas shopping done.

While this should be a fun and happy time, there are unfortunately people out there looking to take advantage of holiday shoppers. Anyone looking to do a bit of shopping this holiday season needs to be careful in order to avoid becoming a victim of a crime so close to Christmas.

Shopping Safety Tips

While most people love this time of year for all sorts of reason from the weather to getting to spend time with family, thieves have different reasons for enjoying the holiday rush. They love the crowded stores and malls because that provides them with plenty of targets and enough chaos to cover their tracks. That is in addition to the shorter days which provide a lot of darkness for them to lurk in. In order to become a more difficult target and avoid being robbed or attacked while shopping, try following these tips.

  • Always lock doors and roll up windows on cars before going into stores.
  • Avoid talking to strangers. Some con-artists work in groups, one distracts the target while the other strikes.
  • Be aware of surroundings as walking to cars. Thieves like to hide behind larger vehicles, or even under your car.
  • Don’t carry too many bags at once, as this makes a person vulnerable.
  • Don’t dress in fancy or attention grabbing clothes while shopping. This can grab a thief’s attention and attract them to you.
  • Have your keys in your hands and ready to unlock your car before leaving the store. This way there is no fumbling to pull them out at the car itself, which makes a person vulnerable.
  • Hide any presents or other expensive items in the trunk so that lurking thieves cannot see them in the car.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable walking to your car, especially at night, ask a security guard or other store employee for an escort.
  • Park in safe areas, preferably under street lights to increase visibility at night. Also try parking close to the storefront to reduce the amount of time spent walking to a car. Avoid parking next to large trucks and vans.
  • Stay alert to what is going on around you.
  • When shopping in the evening or night, always bring a companion with you. There is safety in numbers.
  • Women should not carry purses with them, as these are easier targets for pickpockets. Try to stick to carrying only a single credit/debit card while shopping. This way, no cash can be stolen and only one card has to be canceled if taken.

Online Shopping Safety Tips

With advances in technology, online shopping has become a very large part of the holiday experience. Since online shopping has become so huge, crooks have begun to take advantage of it. In order to avoid falling victim to these people, follow these tips:

  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi in general, but never use it when shopping or banking online.
  • Before filling out private information on an online form, investigate the company/website to ensure that it is trustworthy.
  • If you have fallen victim to an online scam, be sure to close the associated credit card immediately.
  • Learn to spot and avoid email and social media scams, which become more prominent this time of year.
  • Never give out social security numbers online. No online store will ever need that information.
  • Never click on links from unknown sources.
  • Only go to trusted websites by entering the address in the address bar. Avoid clicking links because scammers love to make fake links that lead to their own sites.
  • Only shop on trusted websites, preferably with “https” in front of the address. The “s” signifies that the website is secure, thus making it more trustworthy. Most modern browsers now display a padlock symbol in the address bar next to secure sites.

Don’t Fall Victim to Crooks

As Christmas draws nearer, more and more people go shopping for gifts for their loved ones. Unfortunately, there are thousands of crooks and other horrible people out there looking to take advantage of holiday shoppers.

So long as a person follows the tips above, they should be able to reduce the chances of getting scammed or robbed this holiday season. Do you have any tips that didn’t make the list above? If so, share them in the comments down below and help out others.

halloween dui costs in california

Halloween and DUI’s

halloween dui costs in california

October is here and that means Halloween is only a few weeks away. For kids, this means getting ready for a massive candy score after trick-or-treating. Adults are often more concerned with what parties they will be attending that night. These can be a lot of fun, provided the person is responsible with their actions.

It’s no secret that there will be alcohol at these parties, and most adults will enjoy themselves. This alone isn’t a problem. The real problem arises when people who have been drinking decide that they are going to drive. Drunk driving is always a bad idea. It can get a person into a lot of trouble, and yet people break this law all of the time.

DUI Is Illegal in California

It is illegal to get behind the wheel of vehicle while intoxicated, or high, in the state of California. The reason for this is that being drunk, or high, greatly reduces a person’s mental capacities. They have less control over their body movements and have slower reaction times.

All of this adds up to really bad driving. If something unexpected happens in front of a drunk driver, they will be less likely to react in time to avoid an accident. They also struggle to perform simple tasks such as driving in a straight line. Bottom line, all of this puts people in danger.

Penalties of Driving While Drunk

The penalties for driving while drunk here in California depend on a few different factors. For starters, is this the driver’s first time breaking this law, or have they done this before? Also, was someone injured or even killed due to the driver’s actions. All of this plays a part in how the driver is punished for driving drunk.

For a first time offense, a person faces:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 4 month driver’s license suspension or 6 months with an ignition interlocking device (IID).
  • 3 – 9 months of DUI school.

A second offense comes with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 2 year driver’s license suspension or 1 year with an IID.
  • 18 – 30 months of DUI school.

Third and subsequent offenses come with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 3 year driver’s license suspension or 2 years with an IID.
  • 30 months of DUI school.

If another person is injured due to the driver’s actions, then the driver can face either misdemeanor or felony charges. For a misdemeanor DUI with injury, the penalties are pretty much the same as a first time DUI offense, except the max fine is increased to $5,000. For felony DUI with injuries, the penalties are:

  • 16 months to 16 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $5,000.
  • 1 year of driving with an IID.
  • 18 – 30 months of DUI school.

As one can see, the more often a person drives while drunk, or high, the worse the consequences become.

Don’t Drive While Drunk

Driving while drunk is bad enough on any other day of the year, but becomes extra dangerous on Halloween. On this night, lots of kids are out and about trick-or-treating. This means that a drunk driver is more likely to get into an accident on this night, and that accident is more likely to involve children.

No sane person would want to risk getting into a car accident with children, so why take the chance? That is why anyone planning on drinking this Halloween should also plan a safe ride home. Assign a designated driver (DD) before going to the party, and make sure the DD knows they are the DD. In addition, getting a safe ride home is less than a phone call away nowadays with apps like Uber and Lyft. There is no reason for anyone to drive drunk.

A person can usually also count on a friend or family member to come pick them up too. While the loved one may not enjoy the call, it is arguably better than finding out someone was hurt because they decided to drive drunk rather than bug someone.

Let’s keep this Halloween safe and fun by not driving while drunk or high this year!

animal rescue scam

Animal Rescue Scam

animal rescue scam

A lot of people out there love animals. This is why so many people own cats, dogs, and other critters. Typically, animal lovers will do whatever they can to help animals, especially those in need. It is a very admirable quality. Unfortunately, some bad people out there have figured out how to take advantage of that.

Scammers know that they can play with people’s heartstrings in order to steal money from them. They’ve figured out that by pretending to be from a local animal charity and giving some sob story about an animal, they can get people to give them money without much question.

Animal Shelter Donation Scams

Thanks to advances in modern technology, scammers can get in touch with people through various different channels. They can get in touch with you through:

  • Email.
  • Social media.
  • Phone calls.

Typically what scammers do with this scam is post pictures of animals that are “at risk” of being put down. They will ask for money donations, typically cash, money transfers, or in rare cases gift cards, to save the animal. Many kind people will jump at the opportunity to save an animal and will give up the money without questions. This is what the scammer wants. They don’t want their victims to question or worry about where the money is going.

Scammers like cash, money transfers and gift cards because the money is hard to trace once it’s been handed over. This means that once a victim gives up some money, it is gone for good, and it never goes toward helping any animals.

Tips for Dealing with Scams

One of the best tips for dealing with or avoiding scams is to never click links in emails. This is especially true when the email comes from an unknown email address. Some other tips include:

  • Be wary of anyone who contacts you asking for money.
  • Communicate with the charity directly, not through whatever means you were contacted.
  • Double check that the pictured animal actually exists and is in need of help.
  • Never wire transfer money ton an unknown recipient.
  • Real charities don’t get pushy with asking for donations.
  • Verify that the charity is legit.
  • Verify the email came from the official charity, not some random person.

Penalties for Scamming in California

Scamming people for their hard earned money is illegal in California. There are several laws against the act, and which one a scammer will be charged with is dependent on the scam that was run and who the victims were. Due to this fact, a scammer can face either misdemeanor or felony charges.

Misdemeanor penalties for scamming will typically be:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Informal probation.

Felony penalties for scamming can include:

  • A state prison sentence of varying lengths dependent on the actual crime.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Formal probation.
  • A possible strike under California’s Three Strikes Law.

Don’t Get Scammed Trying to do a Good Deed

No one wants to get scammed, especially when they are trying to help an animal in need. Unfortunately, there are bad people out there that love to get money the easy way. These scammers have figured out they can convince people to just give them money by pretending there is an animal in need.

Whenever a person contacts you asking for money that should send up red flags about the legitimacy of the charity. Don’t let yourself get scammed while trying to do a good deed.

Do you have any tips about avoiding scams like this? If so, share them in the comments below and help other people avoid this scam and others like it.

distracted driving laws in california

What Kind of Driving Is Worse Than Drunk Driving?

distracted driving laws in california

Driving is something that pretty much every single adult does every day. They drive to get to work, to run errands, and take their kids wherever they need to go. Driving is such a part of everyone’s day to day life that no one really bats an eye at it. Everyone is used to driving, which makes driving more dangerous.

When people deal with something on a daily basis, they tend to forget how risky that something can be. This is definitely the case with driving. On its own, driving can be very dangerous. When travelling that quickly, it doesn’t take much for something to go wrong. This is why a driver needs to keep their focus on the road and the task at hand. Looking away for even a second can have deadly consequences.

Distracted Driving Isn’t Harmless

Distracted driving often seems harmless, which is why millions of people do it every single day. However, these people often fail to realize that by distracting themselves like that, they are increasing their chances of being in an accident. Cellphone use while driving is responsible for roughly 1.6 million car accidents in the US each year. This is around 64% of all car accidents in the US.

Cars are large, heavy objects moving at very high speeds. They need precise control to keep them operating the way we want them to. One small jerk of the steering wheel while driving at 50mph can send the car careening in an unintended direction. If a person takes their eyes off of the car in front of them, they might not see it slam on the brakes, which means they won’t have time to stop their car before slamming into the one in front.

It doesn’t cause much to cause a distraction, which is why certain activities should never be performed while driving. Some of these activities include:

  • Texting
  • Phone calls, hands-free or not
  • Smartphone usage
  • Eating
  • Applying makeup
  • Looking for something in the car
  • Talking to other passengers

All of these activities seem harmless, but reduce a driver’s concentration, thereby increasing their chances of being in an accident.

In some studies, it has been found that texting and driving actually reduces a driver’s response time more than being drunk. This means that texting and driving is more dangerous than driving drunk.

California Laws against Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is such a big deal that the state of California even has laws against it. What started out as laws against using a cellphone, expanded to cover other, common activities that could be considered distracted driving.

If any over the age of 18 is caught using a cellphone or other electronic devices, without hands-free, while driving will face infraction level charges, which means some small fines. Anyone under the age of 18 using any sort of electronic device, even hands-free, while face an infraction and possible suspension of their driver’s license or permit.

Don’t Drive While Distracted

When driving, it is very easy to become distracted. In most cases, looking away for a second seems harmless, and sometimes it is. However, there are plenty of examples of when a person looked away for a second and caused a car accident. If the driver is lucky, they will be able to walk away for the incident. Unfortunately, not all drivers are lucky.

Distracted driving affects everyone, from fresh new drivers to seasoned veterans. It is every driver’s problem, and everyone needs to commit to the idea of remaining focused while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

juvenile procedure laws in california

Minors Breaking the Law

juvenile procedure laws in california

Mveryone knows that kids get into trouble. Luckily, for the most part, kids tend to only get in trouble with their parents. As long as parents keep an eye on their children, and play an active role in the child’s life, the kid is less likely to wind up in serious trouble. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes kids mess up in a big way, and find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Finding out that a child has broken a law is a terrible situation for a parent to deal with. No parent ever wants to answer the front door, or a phone, to learn that their child is in some serious trouble. While rare, this does happen from time to time. As such, a parent should be aware of what happens when a minor has a run in with law enforcement agents.

How the Law Handles Juveniles

When a minor gets in trouble with the law, officers react a little differently. In most cases, minors receive lesser penalties for crimes than an adult would. Still, there are times when a minor could find themselves locked up.

What happens to a minor who broke the law is largely dependent on the crime itself. If the charge is relatively minor, then the child will likely be allowed to go home, or be escorted home. Most of the time, the law prefers that parents take care of the children themselves. However, that is not always an option.

If things are a little more serious, then the minor may be given a summons to appear in court at a later date. If things are real bad, then the minor may be arrested and taken to juvenile hall.

Juvenile Hall

Just because a minor is taken to juvenile hall does not mean that they will be forced to stay there forever. This isn’t the end of the world.

A probation officer will look at the case and decide how to proceed. The officer can do one of the following:

  • Give the minor a citation to appear in court and send him/her home.
  • Place the minor on probation, which allows them to go home and avoid going to court, unless they continue to misbehave.
  • Hold the minor in juvenile hall until a judge can look at the case.

Minors in Court

When dealing with courts, minors go to a separate court that focuses solely on minors. If a child has to go to a hearing in court, they could be going for any of the following reasons:

  • Detention Hearing. This will determine if the child needs to stay in juvenile hall or not.
  • Transfer Hearing. This will determine if the case will stay at this level, or be moved up to an adult court.
  • Adjudication. This is the actual trial held in front of a judge, without a jury.
  • Disposition Hearing. If the juvenile is found guilty, this is where they receive their sentencing.

Despite the fact that these court hearings are for minors, they are still very serious. A person should treat these hearings the exact same way they would any other court appearances. This means a person, especially the minor, should dress appropriately and behave while in the court.

Consequences of Court

The goal of the juvenile delinquency system is to rehabilitate minors and to help mold them into good, well-behaved individuals. As such, judges have a lot of options when it comes to sentencing any minor that is found guilty.

What is likely the best case scenario for a guilty verdict, is probation. This means the minor is able to go home. They just have to be on their best behavior to ensure they don’t receive a worse punishment. Some common probation conditions can include:

  • A curfew.
  • Going to counseling.
  • Going to school.
  • Making restitutions to the victims.
  • Performing community service.

A worst case scenario would be when a judge determines that a child is better off away from their home. The child could become a ward of the state, which is where the state takes responsibility for the child. The minor could be placed into a probation camp, or into California’s Division of Juvenile Justice. Neither of these are great outcomes.

Be a Part of Your Child’s Life

No parent ever wants their child to have to face hardship, and getting into trouble with the law definitely counts as hardship. Luckily, a child has to screw up pretty majorly in order to wind up in juvenile hall. So long as a parent takes an active role in their kid’s life, they should be able to prevent that from ever happening.

When kids have guidance, they are able to make better choices, and therefore are less likely to end up getting into trouble in the first place. That is why parents need to pay attention to their kids. If they don’t, their child could make a bad choice and find him or herself in juvie.

public intoxication laws in california

California Drunk in Public Laws

public intoxication laws in california

Most people like to go out and party from time to time. After all, it is nice to cut lose and forget about any responsibilities for the evening. Often times when people do this, they like to consume alcohol. There is nothing wrong with that. However, there are ways that people can get themselves into trouble with alcohol.

Everyone is aware of the obvious problems with drinking and driving, but there can also be problems for just being drunk and out in public. If a person is so drunk that they begin to risk their own safety or interfere with others, they can get into legal trouble.

California Penal Code 647f

California Penal Code (PC) 647 is the state’s law against disorderly conduct. This law covers things from begging for money to prostitution. One aspect of disorderly conduct that this law covers under section f is public intoxication.

PC 647f defines public intoxication as being any person in a public place who is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other controlled substance and is in a condition where they are unable to exercise care for their own safety, or the safety of others. This includes things such as stumbling along the sidewalk, almost falling into the street, or even passing out on the sidewalk and blocking people from using it.

This law does not prevent a person from getting drunk while out on the town. What it is aimed at is preventing a person from getting so drunk that they could hurt themselves or someone else. To get to this level of drunk, a person usually has to overdo their drinking. So, in order to avoid getting into trouble a person needs to be aware of their limits and not push things while out in public.

Penalties of Being Drunk in Public

Breaking PC 647 is a misdemeanor offense. This means that a person faces the following consequences:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

It is possible for a person to get probation instead of jail time for this crime, but that is up to the case judge.

No matter how a person is punished for this crime, it goes on their criminal record. There, it will be visible to any potential employers, which means a drunk in public charge could cost a person a future job. It is really in a person’s best interest to not overdo things and wind up in trouble with the law.

Don’t Overdo It

Whenever a person decides to go drinking, they need to do so responsibly. That means not drinking too much so they don’t get to the point that they can’t take care of themselves. If they do that, and are out in public, they can get into trouble with law enforcement for disorderly conduct. Nobody wants that, especially since it sticks around on a person’s criminal record. No one wants to miss out on a job because of something dumb they did a long time ago.

What do you think of California’s take on disorderly conduct and being drunk in public? Are the laws too lenient, or are they too strict? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

how to prepare for an earthquake

California and Earthquakes

how to prepare for an earthquake

Here in California, there are a few different types of disasters that state residents have to be prepared for. One of the big ones is earthquakes. The San Andreas Fault Line runs through most of California, with hundreds of other smaller faults lacing the state. Due to this fact, every Californian needs to be prepared for an earthquake to occur at any time.

While scientists continue to study faults and earthquakes, there is still no proven method for predicting and forecasting earthquakes. An earthquake can occur at any time, and will do so without warning. If a person uses a specific app, they may be able to get a few seconds warning but that isn’t much.

The Great Shakeout

Each October, people from earthquake prone areas around the world participate in what is known as the Great Shakeout. The Great Shakeout is an organization with the goal of helping make sure everyone is prepared to deal with an earthquake. The group sets aside a day every year, for 2019 the date is October 17th, where people from around the world pledge to practice an earthquake drill.

Most people remember practicing earthquake drills back when they were in school. It wasn’t a whole lot of fun, and most people have stopped practicing that since graduating. This is a bad thing, since repetitive practice is what helps ensure a person remembers something even when scared or in a panic.

With the sudden nature of earthquakes, it is safe to assume that people will be scared and panicked when one occurs. However, with the proper practice, a person will be more than prepared to deal with one. That is why The Great Shakeout exists to help people be better prepared.

How to React

Most people are aware of the basic safety tips for earthquakes. When the shaking starts, and a person is indoors, they should drop, cover, and hold on. This means dropping to the ground, finding cover under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a desk or table, and then holding on until the shaking stops.

The same method applies for outdoors, though the person should first try to get away from any tall structures that could drop debris on them, then drop, cover, and hold on. While finding a safe, open space is important when outside during a quake, a person should be careful while walking through a quake so that they don’t hurt themselves.

If a person is in a vehicle when an earthquake hits, they should safely pullover to the side of the road in a clear location away from trees and powerlines and wait for the shaking to stop. Once the shaking has stopped the person should proceed with caution. The road and other structures could be damaged. There can also be aftershocks.

For a more comprehensive collection of safety tips, check out one of our other articles on earthquakes here or check out the earthquake section of Ready.gov here.

Be Prepared

Living in California means living with earthquakes. The state is one of the most earthquake prone in the country, it is part of what gives the state all of its beautiful mountains. However, the sudden shaking can be very terrifying. The aftershocks following larger quakes can be nerve-wracking.

When it comes to dealing with earthquakes, the best thing a person can do is be prepared. A person can be prepared by knowing how to react during and after an earthquake. A simple way to do this is by identifying good places to take cover. Doing this before the need arises can really pay off when an earthquake actually occurs. Better ways to be prepared include regularly running earthquake drills and having emergency plans ready to go.

Interested in learning more about the Great Shakeout and how to join the movement, check out their website here.

Do you have any earthquake stories or tips you want to share? If so, leave a comment down below. You never know, maybe your story can help someone else.

california open container laws

Open Container Laws in California

california open container laws

Everyone knows about the dangers of drinking and driving. Consuming alcohol puts a person’s mind in a weird place. The person is still sort of aware of what they are doing, but they are incapable of doing things precisely. An intoxicated person may see something happening, but won’t be able to react in time, or in the right way, to prevent it.

This is why drunk driving is prohibited by law in every single state. Drunk driving is very dangerous and claims thousands of lives across the country every single year. However, it is not only the act of being drunk and driving that is illegal, especially here in California. There are also laws aimed at preventing the act from ever happening in the first place.

What Are Open Container Laws?

Being drunk while driving is bad. Drinking while driving is worse. That is why there are so many laws that make it illegal to have an opened container of alcohol inside of a motor vehicle. No one wants someone to grab a drink while they are behind the wheel.

The state of California has several different laws against drunk driving. One particular set is often, collectively, referred to as California’s Open Container Laws. This grouping of laws from Vehicle Code (VC) 23221 to VC 23229 covers every type of situation that might see an open container of alcohol within a motor vehicle.

When it comes to the term “open container,” the law views the following as open containers:

  • A container that has been opened.
  • A container with a broken seal.
  • A container whose contents have been partially consumed.

Under these definitions, it doesn’t matter if a lid or cork has been placed onto the container, it is still considered open. This also means that a person does not have to actively be drinking from the container to get in trouble. Just having the open container in the vehicle is illegal.

California’s Open Container Laws

California’s open container laws are as follows:

  • VC 23221 – This laws prohibits anyone from consuming alcohol while in any car, truck, or other automobile.
  • VC 23222 – This law prohibits anyone from possessing an open container of alcohol in their vehicle.
  • VC 23224 – This law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from possessing an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.
  • VC 23225 – This law lays out how alcohol can be transported in vehicles, namely that alcohol containers must be stored in the “trunk” of a car.
  • VC 23226 – This law prohibits anyone from storing containers of alcohol in the passenger compartment of a vehicle.
  • VC 23229 – This law creates exceptions for in-hire vehicles, such as taxis and limousines. Basically, passengers of in-hire vehicles are allowed to drink in the vehicle, but drivers are not.
  • VC 23229.1 – This law prohibits in-hire vehicles from transporting alcohol when minors, under the age of 21, are riding in the vehicle.
  •  

    There is a bit of overlap between some of these laws, which is likely due to the fact that the lawmakers just wanted to be thorough.

    Penalties for Breaking These Laws

    The penalties for breaking this law aren’t as bad as one might expect. For starters, breaking an open container law is an infraction level offense. This means there are no criminal charges and a person will not face any jail time. For these offenses alone anyways. However, if a person was drunk behind the wheel, then they can face DUI charges on top of open container charges.

    Breaking an open container law in California has a max base fine of $250 dollars.

    If a minor, anyone under the age of 21, is caught breaking an open container law, they face harsher consequences. Breaking an open container law as a minor is a misdemeanor level offense. This comes with:

    • Up to 6 months in jail.
    • A max fine of $1,000.

    Both types will also add points to a person’s driver’s license, which can lead to worse penalties down the line and increased insurance rates. Basically, it is in a person’s best interest to follow these laws, especially if they are under the age of 21.

    Don’t Drink in a Car

    Drinking and driving is a terrible thing to do. Not only does it put the driver’s life at risk, but it endangers any passengers in the vehicle, as well as everyone else on the road. One small mistake and the driver could wind up in a horrible accident. That is why there are so many laws against drunk driving.

    No one wants to be in an accident, and no one wants to get into trouble with the law, so it is best to never drink in a vehicle, or have an open container improperly stored within the vehicle. Doing either of those things could very quickly ruin someone’s day.

    What do you think about California’s open container laws? Is it a good idea for California to worry about this sort of thing? Are the penalties for breaking these laws too small, or not enough? Let us know what you think about these laws in the comments down below.

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    Are You Ready for Your Kids to Go Back to School?

    back to school tips

    Summer is drawing to a close, and for many parents, this means that their child is going back to school soon. As far as parents as concerned, this is a great day. The kids will soon be out of their parents’ hair and preoccupied with their own daily studies. This can make a parent’s life just a little bit easier, which is always appreciated.

    However, as calm as things can be when the kids are away, parents will always worry about their little ones. Parents are always concerned for their kids’ safety, even when they are a school. So while the new school year brings some peace and quiet, it does come with some extra worry too. Luckily, there are some things that parents can do to help their child stay safe at school.

    Some Tips to Keep Kids Safe and Healthy This School Year

    A parent’s biggest goal is to ensure the health and safety of their child. This can be a bit difficult to do though when the child isn’t with the parent, like when the child is at school. Luckily, there are still things that a parent can do to keep their kid safe when they aren’t around.

    One of the biggest aspects of school, is a child’s backpack. The simple device will hopefully hold everything that a student will need during their day at school. This means that choosing and properly packing a backpack is very important. Here are some backpack tips to consider this school year:

    • A full backpack should not weigh more than 20% of the child’s body weight.
    • Always use both straps to carry a back and evenly spread the weight across both shoulders.
    • Choose a backpack with wide shoulder straps and a padded back to ensure comfort and good weight distribution.
    • Use all of the compartments in the backpack to help spread out the weight within the pack itself.
    • If a backpack has a waist strap, use it.
    • Don’t put a child’s name on the outside of a backpack, strangers could use that to their advantage.
    • Avoid roller backpacks as they can cause tripping hazards for other students.

    When a child is walking, or biking to school, there are plenty of things that they should know. Somethings that parents should teach their kids include:

    • Never take shortcuts, especially through areas with low visibility. Kids should stick to parent approved routes in case the parent needs to find the child.
    • Walk in groups.
    • Wear bright colored clothes to be more visible to drivers.
    • Always wear a helmet while biking.
    • Use hand signals while riding a bike.
    • Follow the rules of the road.
    • Don’t listen to music while biking.

    A few extra tips include:

    • Reinforce Stranger Danger rules.
    • Don’t pack lunches and snacks that can spoil.
    • Talk to kids about bullying.

    Give Kids a Brighter Future

    As a parent, it can be hard to not worry about kids when they aren’t around. If a parent follows the tips listed above, they can help keep their child safe this school year. That is all any parent wants. By keeping their kids safe, their children will be able to do well in school this year. This will, in turn, help set the kid up for a brighter future.

    Do you have any school safety tips that aren’t on this list? If so, add them in the comments down below and help out other parents.