consequences for driving high

Can You Drive While High?

consequences for driving high

At the start of 2018, California made it legal for marijuana to be sold from licensed dispensaries. This allowed people to consume marijuana recreationally, much in the same way that alcohol is allowed to be used. While this excited many people, some failed to realize some of the implications of the new.

The biggest factor of the law, is that while people are allowed to use marijuana recreationally, they still need to be responsible. Many of the new rules regarding the usage of marijuana are comparable to the laws around the drinking of alcohol. This includes the rule that a person cannot legally drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If a person is caught driving while under the influence of marijuana, they will likely face DUI charges. Many people relate this charge to driving while drunk, but it actually covers all forms of driving under the influence of any substance. First time penalties for a DUI include:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • Up to a $1,000 fine.
  • Needing to take a DUI course.
  • Having a driver’s license suspended.

The consequences go up for repeat offenders or for drivers who hurt or killed someone.

Just because using marijuana is now legal in California, it is not okay for a person to drive while high. Just like alcohol, marijuana can impair a driver’s senses and impede their reaction time. This makes the driver far more likely to cause an accident, which is something no one wants to deal with. That is why it is best to never drive while high.

how to detect fake money

Do You Know If Your Money Is Real?

how to detect fake money

Money is a pretty big part of everyone’s lives. Most people spend their weekdays working hard to earn just enough money to make it through another week. Meanwhile, a very small group of people out there try to cheat the system and print their own money. This is called counterfeiting and even though the bills may look the same to government printed bills, they counterfeit ones have no monetary value. If a person wants to avoid getting stuck with a counterfeit bill, then they need to know how to check its authenticity.

There are several security measures in place to help people identify real bills from counterfeit ones.

  • Color Shifting Ink: On all bills divisible by 5, the bottom right number should be printing in color shifting ink. This means that when viewed from angle, the number should appear in one color, and if you change angles, the color of the number should change.
  • Fine/ Small Print: Real bills have a lot of small, fine print on them that is hard for counterfeiters to reproduce. If a bill has small text, it should printed clearly. If the text is fuzzy, then the bill is likely fake.
  • Raised Printing: One of the easier features to detect is the raised printing. The shirts on all of the people on the bills feature raised printing. If you run your finger nail over it, you should be able to feel the bumps of the “threads” of the shirt.
  • Red and Blue Threads: Despite being called paper money, bills are actually made out of fabric. Despite their initial appearance, they are not solid green. There are thin red and blue threads woven through the bill. Counterfeiters try to reproduce this by simply printing the lines one, so if the lines look like they were just printed on, not woven in, then the bill is a probably a fake.
  • Security Thread: Every bill has a security thread in it that can be seen when held up to a light. The location of the strip varies depending on the amount of the bill. When held up to a black light, the strip will glow a certain color depending on the amount of the bill:
    • o $5 glows blue
      o $10 glows orange
      o $20 glows green
      o $50 glows yellow
      o $100 glows pink

  • Watermark: Lastly, there is a watermark that can be seen when the bill is held up to a light. The watermark should be on the right side and be a replica of the face on the bill. If the watermark is visible without the bill being held to a light, then it is likely a counterfeit.
  • Counterfeiters can reproduce some of these security features, but it is very rare for them to be able to reproduce all of them. By knowing all of these different ways to check for fake money, a person is far less likely to get scammed out of their hard earned cash.

    what is sb328

    Sorry Kids, No Sleeping in for You

    what is sb328

    Any child will tell you, and most parents would agree, that you have to get up pretty early if you want to get to school on time. If the student was up late the night before doing homework, which since the average high schooler has about 3.5 hours of every weeknight, is a very common occurrence. This leads to the not so surprising fact that most teenagers do not get enough sleep.

    Sleep is very important for proper brain function, especially in growing teens. Several studies have found that students who get less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night are more likely to suffer from depression, drink caffeine, struggle in class, and engage in dangerous activities.

    To try and help with this obvious problem, Senator Anthony Portantino created Senate Bill (SB) 328. SB 328 would have prohibited middle and high schools from starting earlier than 8:30 AM. By doing this, the hope was that students would be able to get more sleep and therefore do better in school each day. This is a goal that every parent wants to achieve.

    Of course, this bill raised some warranted concerns for working parents who do not have the ability to alter their schedules. Parents in this position would have to find some way for their students to get to school at the later time, which might include walking unsupervised or riding the bus. Those are options that not every parent is comfortable with.

    Well, SB 328 passed through both the Assembly and the Senate. However, the bill was vetoed by Governor Brown citing that the bill was opposed by school boards and teachers. However, one could argue that the student’s health and well-being should be just as important, if not more so. What do you think? Should schools start earlier to allow students the extra time to sleep in, or should schools continue on as is to benefit the teachers and parents? Let us know in the comments down below.

    how to check halloween candy

    What’s in Your Kid’s Halloween Candy?

    how to check halloween candy

    Every year, as Halloween rolls around, people begin seeing articles about how they can keep their kids safe during the holiday. One of the big topics is being sure to check kids’ Halloween candy for any tampering before allowing the kid to eat it. Unfortunately, there are people out there who think it’s fun or funny to harm people by messing with their food.

    The first step to checking a child’s candy is to make sure that they don’t eat any of it while they are out trick or treating. Do not let them have any of the candy until you have been able to examine it under good lighting. Check for damaged wrappers, candy that smells funny, homemade sweets from strangers, or any candy or sweets not in their original packaging.

    If a piece of candy doesn’t seem right to you, throw it out. In this instance, it is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your child’s safety. If you do find any candy that has been clearly tampered with, such as having needles, razors, or glass shards in it, report it right away to the local authorities.

    As uncommon as tampering with candy may be, this kind of thing does happen. Recently Australia has been dealing with people putting sewing needles into strawberries. So, check your kids Halloween candy this year just to be safe.

    online video game safety

    The Dangers of Online Gaming

    online video game safety

    Internet safety is always a big concern, especially for parents. You never know who your kids might be meeting online unless you pay close attention. Most parents know to warn their kids about talking to strangers that they met online on sites like Facebook. However, there is one avenue of online communication that often gets overlooked: online video games.

    Online games enable players to play their game with anyone in the world. As great as that is for gamers, it can be problematic for young children. They can end playing their game with anyone, and as most adults know, there are some real creeps out there. Many parents are discovering that their kids are hearing and experiencing very inappropriate things online.

    A disturbing new trend that is on the rise is child predators using gaming apps such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and other games to get in contact with teens and children. These games are heavily played by people of all ages, but especially children. Predators have begun using these games to talk to children about very inappropriate things, or to lure the kid into meeting them in real life.

    In order to prevent something like this from happening, parents need to not only talk with their children about meeting online people in real life, but also pay attention to what their kids are playing and how. For instance, Fortnite has a “T” rating, meaning that it is recommended that players be at least 13 years or older to play due to the slightly violent nature of the game.

    The takeaway from this is that parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing online if they want to keep them safe. This is true whether the child is using social media or gaming. In some instances, it may be best to restrict a child from playing their game online, or limiting how much time they spend on the console. A word of advice, most modern consoles have built in parental features such as timers and restrictions that prevent kids from playing games that are too mature.

    All this requires is that the parent spend a bit of time learning about how their child spends their time online. By putting in this extra bit of effort, a parent can help keep their child safe.

    squatter laws in california

    What Can Be Done about Squatters in California?

    squatter laws in california

    It is no secret that the state of California has a bit of a problem when it comes to homelessness. In fact, California had an estimated 134,000 homeless individuals in the year of 2017. This is almost half of the homeless population in the entire United States. Needless to say, this is a big problem, and it is only causing more problems.

    One such problem is that of squatters, which are people who unlawfully occupy uninhabited property or land. These people do not have the right to live on that property because it belongs to someone else, and yet they live their regardless of the fact. This can cause problems for the property owner, which can get worse the longer the squatters remain on the property.

    What is Considered Criminal Trespassing?

    Here in California, and the rest of the country, a person is not able to walk on privately owned land or building unless they have permission to do so. Entering into someone else’s property without permission is considered trespassing. California Penal Code 602 makes this a misdemeanor activity. This means that trespassing can earn a person one of the following:

    • A fine no larger than $1,000.
    • Up to 6 months in jail.
    • Some combination of fine and jail.

    Trespassing is not something that is taken lightly here in California. While one would think dealing with squatters would be plain and simple, that is not the case.

    Do Squatters Have Rights?

    California has what is known as squatter’s rights. This is a term that terrifies and concerns many property owners. Squatters in California can earn rights through what is referred to as adverse possession. This is a legal term that can allow a trespasser to eventually gain control of someone else’s property, which is bad for the property’s owner.

    Adverse possession basically states that if a squatter has been living on a piece of property long enough, and has made noticeable improvements on the land while paying the land’s property tax, then he or she has a reasonable claim for ownership of the land in question. For this to occur, the property owner has to be pretty unaware of what is going on with the property for a very long time.

    For adverse possession to take effect, the squatter has to live on the land continuously for 5 years, all the will using the land and making improvements on it. Once that is done, the squatter will have the right to claim the property as their own in court.

    The government allows adverse possession because it takes land that was unused, and develops it, making it useable, and taxable. The 5 year requirement is to give the property owner time to notice the problem and try to deal with it.

    Dealing with Squatters

    Unfortunately for property owners, dealing with squatters is not as simple as one would hope, even with California’s laws against trespassing. As far as the state law is concerned, a person who does not properly police and control their property, deserves to lose said property. This is why it is extremely important for a property owner to regularly inspect any property that they own, but do not currently use. They also need to make sure that are always paying their property taxes. Doing so will help them ensure that squatters do not reside there long enough to earn squatter’s rights, or achieve adverse possession.

    Unfortunately, even after doing all of this, it can still be a lengthy legal process to remove squatters from a property, especially if they know about squatter’s rights. Skilled squatters are known to target abandoned properties and can often come up with official looking documents when confronted by police or other law officials. This can make them difficult to remove despite the fact that they are trespassing, however it is not impossible. A property owner just needs to be on top of the problem.

    Do you know anyone who has issue with squatters? Can you remove squatters by force?

    plastic straw laws in california

    California Limits Plastic Straws

    plastic straw laws in california

    A few years ago, the citizens of California voted to ban single-use plastic straws. At the time, the change was very controversial with many opponents of the bill upset at the loss of the flimsy plastic items. However, as time moved on, people adapted and got used to the new change. The success of this law, helped convince some Californians that similar laws should be enacted as well.

    Recently, the California state legislature passed a new bill that would prohibit full-service, dine-in restaurants from distributing plastic straws unless the patron requests the item. The hope is that by doing this, it will reduce the amount of plastic straws that are used once, and then tossed away. Single-use plastic utensils like this are bad for the environment since they are only used for a short amount of time, but last for several decades in landfills and oceans.

    It is important to note that this is not an all-out ban on plastic straws, like many opponents of the bill claim it is. Customers will still be able to get plastic straws in restaurants, they will simply need to ask for straws. The hope is that this will get people used to the idea of not having straws. This could also help encourage new, environmentally friendly straws to be used instead of their plastic counterparts.

    The bill based with a 45-20 vote in the State Assembly and now awaits Governor Jerry Brown’s signature for final approval. While this bill may seem like a big deal now, just remember when the plastic bag ban was first enacted. Many people were up in arms over that law, but we got used to the change. The same could happen with this law as well.

    illegal searches and seizures

    California’s Attitude Towards Illegally Obtained Evidence

    illegal searches and seizures

    Most of us assume that the laws about what is and what isn’t legally obtained evidence to be black and white, however there are actually quite a few gray areas when it comes to illegally obtained evidence in California.

    One example of the murkiness surrounding how evidence is obtained is a police officer who happened to notice what looked an awful lot like a drug related transaction. Unable to ignore the situation, the officer approached the car and after a brief skirmish, the officer found that the car was full of drugs, ammo, and an alarming number of weapons. The question is, since the officer didn’t have a warrant, could the evidence be used as proof of guilt.

    The Fourth Amendment was created to protect citizens from illegal search and seizures, and to make it nearly impossible for the United States to become a “police state/country.” The problem is that a lot of time has passed since the Fourth Amendment was drafted and the world has changed a great deal. In an attempt to keep up with the increasing challenges law enforcement faces and to also honor the Fourth Amendment, courts all over the country, including California, have tweaked and even created some laws about what is and isn’t illegally obtained evidence.

    In the case of the evidence collected by the officer who witnessed a crime in progress, the prosecution can claim that since the officer did witness an actual crime, the evidence can be used during the trial despite the fact that the officer didn’t have a warrant allowing them to inspect the car. However, if the defense can prove that the officer was staking out the driver or didn’t actually witness a crime taking place, it’s likely that judge will rule that the evidence was in fact obtained illegally and throw out the entire case.

    Whenever there’s a case involving a car and evidence, things always get complicated. Technically, an officer can’t go through your car looking for proof of illegal activities, however, if they pull you over for speeding and there’s a bag full of drugs on your backseat, they can arrest you and use the baggie of drugs as evidence.

    If you’re involved in a case and don’t think the evidence was obtained with a legal search warrant, it’s in your best interest to hire a good defense lawyer who has a strong understanding of the Fourth Amendment.

    What Cinco de Mayo is Really About

    What Cinco de Mayo is Really About

    What Cinco de Mayo is Really About

    May fifth is right around the corner. Now if you’re not influenced by Mexican culture, you probably don’t really care about the date. However, if you are like most of southern California, you’ve been preparing for May fifth for a long time. Your family has been making plans for weeks, and you have been mentally preparing for the fun you’re about to have.

    May fifth, commonly known as Cinco de Mayo, is a huge festivity. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over the French. According to Histoy.com, Cinco de Mayo specifically commemorates the 1862 Battle of Puebla. However, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of the Mexican culture.

    Surprisingly, Cinco de Mayo is a smaller celebration in Mexico. American-Mexican cultures are a little bit louder when it comes to celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Americans love to celebrate anything and everything. Mixing American culture with Mexican culture will result in one giant good time.

    Cinco de Mayo is commonly mistaken for other Mexican traditions. Cinco de Mayo gets mistaken for other holidays like Independence Day in Mexico and Day of the Dead. They are two other colorful, traditional holidays that celebrate completely different things. Independence Day for Mexico is September 16th and is on the anniversary of the declaration of war against the Spanish government in 1810. Day of the Dead is celebrated the day after Halloween and is about honoring those who have passed away. With all of these bright and colorful holidays, it is important to know what you are actually celebrating.

    The American-Mexican culture is about embracing heritage and having a good time. That is why Cinco de Mayo is so widely celebrated in California. Even though it is just a small part of Mexican culture, it is still widely celebrated as other holidays. It’s time to kick up your feet and celebrate the tradition of Cinco de Mayo.

    We Care about Animals in California

    We Care about Animals in California, and This New Law Proves It

    We Care about Animals in California

    We love cute, furry creatures. No one can resist the soft innocent, helpless puppies, bunnies, or kittens. Animals appeal to us because of how we can connect with them. It’s that connection that we feel with animals that drives us to try to protect them. Plus, as Americans it’s instilled in us to also fight for the underdogs.

    Unfortunately, we have a problem with some animals, specifically with cats and dogs. There’s a problem with too many animals stuck in the shelter. Overcrowding happens within the shelters, which leaves them with no choice but to humanely euthanize the animals. This problem has many animal lovers up in arms and working to help fix the problem. Websites like No Kill Now call for action by asking people to shop for their family pets at the kill shelters in the hopes of saving as many pets as possible.

    Animals at the shelter are usually picked up by animal control, or have been surrendered by their previous owners. The animals in the local shelters don’t always get photographed and posted on the shelter’s website either. Therefore, it is encouraged to go to the shelter in person. Not all shelter animals get their picture taken, and this limits their chances of being seen.

    Here is California, we care a lot about the world around us, including the cute animals that inhabit it. It’s really no surprise that this past year, a new law was signed to soon go into effect in order to help protect animals. The law is meant to help with the overcrowding of at animal shelters and will go into effect January 2019.

    The law will prohibit pet stores from selling animals that are not from the shelter. This law will promote adopting shelter pets and means that only shelter animals will be up for adoption in California. Breeders in California will not be able to sell to pet stores. Pet store owners that fail to comply will face criminal charges.

    We care about animals, and more specifically we care about our pets. We care about our current pets and our future pets. Hopefully this law will help with the overcrowding, but more importantly, this law will help pets find their forever homes.