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.

    california marijuana sale laws

    California’s Laws on the Sale of Marijuana

    california marijuana sale laws

    While voters passed Proposition 64 back in 2016 to legalize the recreational use of marijuana within the state, there are still instances where a person can get into trouble with the drug. For more information about laws surrounding the selling of marijuana, keep reading.

    Who Can Sell Marijuana?

    When it comes to the sale of marijuana within the state of California, only licensed individuals are permitted to make sales. In order for a business to get a license to sell marijuana within the state, they have to apply for one through the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC).

    The BCC is responsible for overseeing all commercial sales of marijuana within the state. Anyone looking to get a license to sell any form of marijuana or cannabis within California needs to get a license from this agency. If a person fails to do that, then they will face legal consequences for selling marijuana without a license. Not only is selling marijuana illegal, but just possessing with the intent of selling it can get a person into trouble.

    Possessing marijuana with the intent to sell is typically a misdemeanor offense. It earns a person up to 6 months in jail and a max fine of $500. However, this crime can become a felony level offense if:

    • A person has a prior conviction of a violent felony.
    • A person has 2 or more prior misdemeanor convictions of intent to sell marijuana.
    • A person possessed marijuana in the attempt to sell it to a minor, someone under 18.

    If one of these instances occurs, than the person can face anywhere from 16 months to 3 years in jail.

    The unlicensed sale of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense in most cases. It comes with a jail stay of no more than 6 months and a max fine of $1,000. As with the intent to sell marijuana, if a person meets any of the above exceptions, then they could face felony charges. Felony charges of sale without a license can earn a person anywhere from 2 to 4 years in jail.

    A person is allowed to transport and give away marijuana, provided the total amount is less than or equal to the legal limit of 28.5 grams of marijuana and the person they are giving the marijuana to is 21 or older.

    Minors and Marijuana

    While the recreational use of marijuana may be legal in California, a person has to be over the age of 21 to take advantage of that law. Anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from doing anything with marijuana, this includes:

  • Administer
  • Carry
  • Give away
  • Prepare for sale
  • Sell
  • Transport
  • Use
    • If a person is caught allowing a minor to do any of these things, they can face harsh prison sentences. If the minor was under the age of 14, then the person can face anywhere from 3 to 7 years in state prison. If the minor was between the ages of 14 and 18, then the person faces anywhere from 3 to 5 years in state prison.

      California’s Take on the Sale of Marijuana

      It may be legal for a person to use marijuana in a recreational sense here in California, but that does not mean that a person can do whatever they want with the drug. There are still rules to follow. For instance, only licensed businesses are allowed to sell marijuana in any quantity.

      Another big law is that a person has to be 21 or older to be able to use or do anything with marijuana. Anyone younger than 21 is considered a minor when it comes to marijuana, and can get into serious legal trouble for dealing with the drug.

      What do you think about California’s take on the sale of marijuana and how it punishes people who break those laws? Is it too much, or just enough? How about when minors are involved? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

    avoiding a heat stroke fontana bail bonds

    Beware of Extreme Heat This Summer

    avoiding a heat stroke

    Summer is in full swing here in California, and many parts of the state are feeling the heat. While for some this is a nice change of pace from the cold of winter, for others this is just another extreme to be dealt with. Just like the cold, the heat can become harmful and even deadly. That is why people need to take the proper steps to ensure their health and well-being this summer.

    When the weather grows indescribably hot, there are several things a person should do to keep cool. At excessive temperatures, keeping cool isn’t just about comfort, it is about staying healthy. At high temperatures, a person can suffer from heatstroke or heat exhaustion. Both can be very serious conditions, have their own unique symptoms, and require their own responses to keep the person suffering from them safe. The following information comes from the National Weather Service’s website.

    In addition, heat cramps could be a warning sign of these illnesses starting to take effect in the person. If a person has been in hot weather and is suffering from cramps, usually in their legs or abdomen, they should:

    • Apply firm pressure to the cramping muscle.
    • Massage the muscle.
    • Sip on water so long as the person isn’t nauseous.

    Feeling Tired from the Heat?

    Spending too much time in the sun, or even just a warm area, can cause a person to suffer from heat exhaustion. When a person is suffering from heat exhaustion, they will experience the following symptoms:

    • Cool, pale, clammy skin.
    • Dizziness.
    • Fainting.
    • Fast, weak pulse.
    • Heavy sweating.
    • Muscle cramps.
    • Nausea, vomiting.
    • Weakness.

    If a person is suffering these symptoms, they should get to a cooler area as soon as possible. They should loosen, or if possible, remove clothing to help cool off. If the person is conscious, give them sips of water. Apply cool, wet clothes to as much of the body as possible.

    If the person vomits more than once, seek immediate medical attention.

    The Signs of Heat Stroke

    Heat stroke is another, more serious heat related condition. The symptoms of heat stroke include:

    • Altered mental state.
    • Body temperature over 103 degrees.
    • Confusion.
    • Dizziness.
    • Faints.
    • Hot, red, dry, or moist skin.
    • Nausea.
    • Rapid, strong pulse.
    • Shallow breathing.
    • Throbbing headache.

    If a person exhibits these symptoms, contact 911 or get them to a hospitable immediately. If waiting for emergency services, move the person into a cooler area, preferably with air conditioning. Apply cool, wet cloths to as much as the body as possible or put them in a cool bath. Fan them only if the air temperature is under 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Do not give the person fluids.

    Stay Cool This Summer

    During the warm summer months, it is important for person to keep cool, not just to remain comfortable, but to remain in good health as well. Not only does a person need to keep an eye on themselves during these warm times, but they need to watch out for those who can’t take care of themselves or those who are more susceptible to heat such as young children and the elderly. Doing so could keep them safe this summer.

    It is also important to remember to stay hydrated when in hot weather. The human body uses water, in the form of sweat, to help regulate the body’s temperature. Without enough water, the body can begin to suffer from one of these illnesses.

    What are some ways that you like to keep cool during the summer, especially while working? Let us know in the comments down below and help other people keep cool this summer.

    video game rating redlands bail bonds

    What Kind of Video Games Is Your Child Playing?

    video game rating

    Parenting is not an easy task, but at least school is there to take the kids away for a few hours each day. That helps. However, summer is now here and the kids are free from school for the season. It can be tough for parents to figure out how to keep their kids busy and entertained over the summer.

    Nowadays, many kids are easily entertained with a video game of some sort. Luckily, there are plenty of games to choose from to keep the kiddies entertained. However, a parent needs to make sure that the game their kid is playing is appropriate for them. Some parents don’t realize that there is a way to determine what is in a game without having to play it.

    How to Rate a Game

    Video games come in all sorts of “shapes and sizes.” There truly is something for everyone, so long as they are willing to look for the right game. One of the ways that people can tell what is in a game, aside from reading the back of the box, is to look at the rating system. Every single game in the United States has a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

    The ESRB is tasked with providing consumers with the information to determine what kind of audience the game is made for. The ESRB examines a game and determines if its content is meant more for kids, or adults. Once a decision has been decided on for a game, the game receives a letter rating.

    While some people may be confused by the letter system used for rating video games, it is actually pretty straightforward. The following letters can be used for ratings:

  • EC – EC stands for early childhood and are usually meant as educational games for very young kids. This rating isn’t used much in most games.
  • E – E stands for everyone, meaning that the game is suitable for all ages. An E game can contain minimal cartoon, fantasy, mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language. Games like Pokémon fall into this category.
  • E10+ – E10+ stands for everyone age ten and up. These games can contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes. Minecraft falls into this category.
  • T – T stands for teen, meaning the game is meant for anyone 13 and older. These games can contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language. The popular battle royal style game Fortnite falls into this category.
  • M – M stands for mature, meaning a player should be 17 or older to buy or play the game. These games contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language. Any first-person shooter (FPS) game, like Call of Duty, typically fits into this category.
  • AO – AO stands for adults only, meaning a person should be 18 or older to play the game. Admittedly, this rating is very rarely used. These games can contain prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.
  • RP – RP stands for rating pending, meaning the game hasn’t gotten an official rating yet. This is usually seen on adds for games long before their official release and therefore will never be on a game once it is available to purchase.
  • More information can be found on the ESRB website, as well as a helpful lookup tool, here.

    Be Wary of Loot Boxes

    Another thing a parent should be wary of in their child’s games, are loot boxes. Loot boxes are highly controversial at the moment with many people debating whether or not they constitute gambling.

    Loot boxes typically work as follows: A player acquires a box in game, sometimes by earning, though usually through purchasing the box with real world money. The player then opens the box is given a random in-game reward. If a player didn’t get the reward they wanted, they can always purchase another loot box to try again. This can very quickly add up to a lot of money.

    Some popular games that include loot boxes include:

    • Apex Legends
    • Counter-Strike
    • FIFA
    • Fortnite
    • Overwatch
    • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
    • Star Wars Battlefront 2

    Due to these questionable practices, many governments around the world are weighing in on whether or not loot boxes count as gambling. Until governments can come to any sort of decision on this front, parents should pay attention to games with these, as kids have been known to use their parent’s credit cards to buy a lot of these loot boxes.

    Pay Close Attention

    Video games can be a great way to keep a child entertained this summer, so long as a parent is aware of what games their letting their child play. When a parent buys a game for their child, they need to make sure that the game is appropriate. If they don’t want their child seeing anything super violent, then M rated games are out of the picture. No cartoon violence, then T games are out as well. E and E10+ games are usually a safe bet for young children.

    Unfortunately, if a parent wants to avoid games with loot boxes, they are going to have to a look a little more closely at the rating box on the game’s case. Loot boxes themselves don’t currently affect a game’s rating with the ESRB, however they should be listed next to the games rating under the category of in-game purchases.

    Do you have a favorite child appropriate game? If so, share it in the comments below and help other parents find a good game for their child this summer.

    shake alert rialto bail bonds

    Does the ShakeAlert System Work?

    shake alert

    While people all over the country were celebrating the Fourth of July, Southern California got quite a shocking surprise. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake centered near Ridgecrest, California struck around 10:35 am. People from as far away as Orange County and Las Vegas felt the shaking from the quake. The area remained seismically active for the rest of the day, with another 5.4 quake striking the area around 4:07 am.

    This quake was followed by a larger one, 7.1 magnitude, on July 5th.

    This was all an important reminder for Californians that larger earthquakes can and will happen here. This drew the usual concern about how people should prepare for earthquakes. Some tips that we have gathered in the past on how to do this can be found here. This also drew some concern as people in redlands wondered why they did not receive an alert from ShakeAlert.

    What Is ShakeAlert?

    ShakeAlert is an early earthquake warning system meant to alert people to earthquakes before they start shaking an area. The system began working in the fall of 2018. There are thousands of earthquake sensors all over the state of California. When one of the sensors detects a quake, it sends an alert to a research facility that then sends the alert out to anyone who has the app on their phone.

    It is important to note that this system does not detect earthquakes before they occur. It simply detects the shaking at the epicenter and alerts surrounding areas. Thanks to modern technology, an earthquake can be detected and an alert send to the surrounding areas almost minute before the shaking reaches those areas.

    The technology is still in development is largely being used by researchers to study quakes and fine tune the tech. they hope that they will be able to expand the system and give people greater early warnings. While a warning of less than a minute doesn’t sound like much, it can do a lot for people. This kind of warning can help prevent planes from taking off and landing during the shaking. It can stop people from driving onto bridges or into tunnels. It can help utility companies shut down systems and prevent fires from flaring up because of the quake. Those few seconds can actually make a huge difference.

    While this tech is amazing, many people in redlands realized that they never received an alert about the quake.

    Why Weren’t LA Citizens Notified?

    While many suspect that they didn’t receive an alert simply because the system doesn’t work, they would be wrong. The system worked, however it determined that the quake would not be strong enough to warrant alert residents of LA County to the earthquake.

    As it currently stands, the system only alerts LA County residents if either:

    • An earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or stronger strikes within the boundaries of LA County.
    • An earthquake that happened outside of LA County will shake the area with an estimated shaking intensity of 4.

    While the recent July 4th earthquake was a magnitude 6.4, it was not located within LA County. The ShakeAlert system estimated that shaking in the LA County are would only be intensity 3. This is understandable from a scientific standpoint, as the difference in shaking between a magnitudes is bigger than people realize. A magnitude 5.0 earthquake is 10 times more violent than a magnitude 3.0.

    However, for many people, not being alerted to the shaking before it began worried them, and caused them to question the effectiveness of the ShakeAlert system.

    The System Does Work

    The thing to take away from this is that the ShakeAlert System does work. It only sends alerts to areas that are about to experience large amounts of shaking. This is likely done to keep the alerts more important. If the system sent out alerts for every single earthquake, which California experiences hundreds of little ones each day, people would begin to ignore the alerts all together. It would become a lot like the story of the boy who cried wolf. No one would believe the system when a big earthquake finally hit.

    Instead of getting upset that the system didn’t issue a warning for minor shaking, use this as a reminder to stay prepared. A person should have an exit strategy for any room they spend a lot of time in, whether that be at home or work. It is also a good idea to have some supplies stored away in the event that roads are too damaged to use and stores run out of supplies.

    Did you feel the Fourth of July quake? Tell us about it, and how well you handled the shaking in the comments down below.

    smoking in cars with children

    Is It Illegal to Smoke in a Car with Children Present?

    smoking in cars with children

    Pretty much everyone is aware of the fact that smoking is bad. It can be incredibly damaging to the human body, which is why it causes around 480,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. This is about 1 out of every 5 deaths in the country. This is also more deaths than the following causes combined:

    • HIV
    • Drug use
    • Alcohol use
    • Car crashes
    • Gun related incidents

    The numbers and stats are quite intimidating, and yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 14 out of every 100 adults over the age of 18 smoke in the US. This totals to around 34.3 million adults smoking. That is a lot of people out there who are knowingly causing a lot of harm to their body. This is just the stats for the people who purposefully smoke, then there are the people who are effected despite never smoking themselves.

    The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

    Secondhand smoke is a term that refers to the smoke that non-smokers inhale. This smoke comes from the lit end of cigarettes, and the smoke exhaled by the smoker him/herself. This smoke can linger for hours, and spread up to 20 feet away from the smoker. When breathed in by a passerby, they are exposed to the very same health risks that smokers are, despite never actually smoking themselves.

    This is why smoking has been banned in most areas, especially areas where lots of children will be present, to protect people who have made the conscious decision to not smoke.

    Children and Secondhand Smoke

    Smoking is bad enough for fully grown adults, but it is even worse for children. Children’s bodies are still developing and growing, making them more susceptible to the health risks that come from secondhand smoke. Some of the side effects of secondhand smoke amongst children include:

    • Developing bronchitis
    • Developing pneumonia
    • Ear infections
    • Increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome
    • Asthma attacks
    • Lung infections

    This is why smoking is banned from schools, daycares, and homes that serve as daycares. What many people may not be aware of, is that here in the state of California, it is actually against the law to smoke in a car when minors are present. This actually makes a lot of sense, though it is often overlooked.

    Inside a vehicle, secondhand smoke levels can get way out of hand. The levels of pollutants in the air can get well above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hazardous limit. Some drivers try to get around this by cracking open a window to allow the car to vent. While this does reduce the amount of pollutants in the air within the vehicle, they are still 10 to 20 times more than the EPA’s Hazard limit. This means that the air is still very toxic, and therefore very damaging, to children.

    Smoking in a vehicle with minors inside is an infraction level offense, and a minor one at that. This means that it comes with a small fine and no possibility of jail time. In addition, officers are very unlikely to pull a driver over just for smoking with children in the car. More than likely, the driver will be pulled over for some other traffic offense, and this offense will be added onto the ticket as well.

    Don’t Smoke Around Non-Smokers

    Smoking is just a bad idea in general, since it does a lot of harm to a person’s body. However, if that person wants to smoke, that is their choice. However, the people around them have likely made the decision not to smoke, and have a right to be able to breathe clean, smoke-free air. This is especially true for growing children. That is why smoking is restricted to specific areas that are far away from where children may be present. This includes the inside of a vehicle.

    What do you think of California’s law against smoking in cars with children? Is it the right thing to do, or should it come with harsher consequences? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

    california stun gun laws

    Is It Legal to Own a Stun Gun or Pepper Spray in California?

    california stun gun laws

    Everyone wants to feel safe wherever they go. Sometimes that means a person carries something around with them in case they need to defend themselves. Two of the most common and popular forms of non-lethal defense are stun guns and pepper spray. While people want to be safe, they also want to ensure that they aren’t breaking any laws in doing so.

    This can be especially tricky here in California. This state has a lot of laws that people aren’t familiar with, but are pretty easy to break. This is especially true when it comes to weapons of any sort. While both pepper spray and stun guns are non-lethal, they are still categorized as weapons. This means there are strict rules that have to be followed, or else a person could find themselves in legal trouble.

    Pepper Spray Laws in California

    Pepper spray is a chemical compound derived from chili plants. When it is sprayed onto a person’s face, it can cause severe, but temporary reactions, including:

    • Eyes tearing up.
    • Coughing.
    • Tightening of the chest.
    • Mucus secretions.
    • A burning sensation.

    Needless to say, being sprayed with the stuff is not a pleasant experience, which is why it is commonly used as a self-defense, non-lethal weapon.

    Pepper spray is legal to own and use within the state of California by both law enforcement agents and private individuals over the age of 16. However, pepper spray can only legally be used in self-defense situations. It cannot be used to attack someone.

    To complicate things a little further, the term “use” is looked at in a unique way here in California. A person can be considered using pepper spray if they simply hold the container in threatening manner. It doesn’t matter if the container is empty or full, sprayed or not. Holding it means it was used.

    Using pepper spray in non-self-defense situations can earn a person a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the circumstances. That means there can be heavy fines, and even jail time.

    People who are prohibited from using pepper spray include:

    • People convicted of a felony.
    • People convicted of assault.
    • Minors under the age of 16 without parental permission.
    • Anyone addicted to narcotics.

    Interestingly, pepper spray is illegal to use in war since it is considered a chemical weapon, but is still allowed to be used in self-defense situations.

    What Are Stun Guns

    Stun guns, or Tasers as they are commonly called, are a special type of weapon designed to immobilize an attacker by applying large amounts of electricity. California Penal Code (PC) 244.5 defines a stun gun as any offensive or defensive weapon capable of immobilizing a person by the infliction of an electrical charge. By simply sending jolts of electricity through a person’s body, their muscles will tense up, restricting movement and causing pain, thereby incapacitating the person.

    For people wondering about the difference between stun guns and Tasers, Tasers are actually a specific brand of stun guns. This is similar to how Chap Stick is actually a specific brand of lip balm.

    Stun guns are legal to own and use, for self-defense purposes, within the state of California by law enforcement officers and private individuals over the age of 16 and have parental permission. Felons and minors under the age of 16 are prohibited by law from owning or using a stun gun.

    Assaulting someone with a stun gun can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the crimes and the person’s criminal record. This can earn a person jail or prison time, and up to $10,000 in fines.

    Stay Safe Out There

    Everyone wants to feel safe, and everyone has their preferred method of self-defense. For those out there using pepper spray or stun guns, just be sure to only every use or brandish these weapons in self-defense. If a person uses these items to attack another person, they can face serious legal trouble. That is something nobody wants to deal with.

    It is also important to note that these sort of laws vary from state to state. What may be okay to do here in California may not be allowed in other states. A person should keep this in mind if they are ever traveling across the country. After all, no one wants to get into legal trouble for simply trying to defend themselves.

    What do you think about California’s take on pepper spray and stun guns? Should there be more or less restrictions? Are things fine the way they are now? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

    california assembly bill 272

    Could Cellphones Be Banned in California Schools?

    california assembly bill 272

    Things have changed a lot since most adults were in school. A popular question in math classes used to be if a student could use a calculator on their test. The teachers would usually say no, along with a comment about needing to know how to do the math on their own because: “You won’t be walking around with a calculator in your pocket.” Flash forward 10 years and everyone is doing just that.

    Pretty much everyone has a cellphone, and regardless if it is smart or not, they all have calculators built in. This makes some math teachers sound pretty silly nowadays. Aside from proving our old math teachers wrong, smart phones allow a person to get any kind of information that they could possibly need thanks to their connection to the internet.

    While this can be a very useful tool, it can also be very distracting. Let’s be honest, more often than not, when a person is on their phone, they are goofing off rather than working. This is just for adults, kids have even less self-control. This is why cellphones are such a problem in schools. They distract students and disrupt the flow of teaching. That is why one lawmaker is looking to change things.

    Assembly Bill 272 has been Introduced

    According to a report from 2016, around 73% of teens had a smart phone. California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi recently introduced a new bill that would require all school boards across the state to create new policies that would limit or restrict cellphones, particularly smart phones, usage on school grounds.

    Schools wouldn’t have to outright ban smart phones on their grounds, but the law would force them into reevaluating their policies. This would thereby ensure that the school is doing everything it can in regards to the matter.

    For instance, some schools could chose to ban smart phones, but still allow a student to use one if it is for academic purposes, provided they have teacher approval. This way, the distraction of the cellphone is removed, but its usefulness as a tool could still be available when needed.

    In part, the new bill was inspired by a recent law that France enacted last year. This law banned cellphones from primary and middle schools across the country. The law was enacted with the intent of increase student performance at school.

    This law is also inspired by countless studies that have found smart phones can be distracting and lower a student’s performance in school. In addition, children who spend too much time on social media are more likely to describe themselves as unhappy.

    Cellphones Are Distracting

    There is no denying that smartphones can be incredibly distracting to us adults, and especially to children. In addition, spending too much time on social media sites can potentially increase chances of depression and suicide in a person, especially teenagers. At least as adults, people are able to better set limits for themselves. Adults are able to recognize when enough is enough and take a step back. Students have a much harder time doing that.

    In an effort to help kids learn more and schools, and protect their mental health, some lawmakers are pushing to ban or restrict cellphones in and on school grounds. What do you think of this new bill? Should cellphones be banned on school grounds, or should they just be restricted? Let us know what you think about this new bill in the comments down below.

    new bac level in california

    Will California Make it Easier to Get a DUI?

    new bac level in california

    Most people are aware of the fact that driving while drunk is a very bad thing to do. Driving under the influence (DUI) is an incredibly risky and dangerous act, not just for the driver, but everyone else they pass on the road. This is due to the fact that alcohol impairs a person’s abilities and thoughts, making them unfit to drive any sort of vehicle.

    Despite knowing this fact, many drivers out there still break this law every single day. These drivers convince themselves that they are fine to drive, and that they aren’t that drunk. They drive off to wherever, and that’s where things go wrong.

    There are laws against drunk driving in every single state in the Union in order to keep people safe. The laws here in California may just become a bit stricter thanks to a proposed bill currently going through the California State Assembly.

    Current DUI Laws in California

    The laws against drunk driving here in California are pretty straightforward and mesh with the laws in most other states. Anyone who is caught driving a motor vehicle, whether it be a car, truck, or boat, with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater is guilty of committing DUI under state law.

    For the most part, DUI in California is charged as a misdemeanor offense, unless someone was injured as a result of the crime. A first time DUI offense earns a driver:

    • Up to 6 months in jail.
    • A max fine of $1,000.
    • 4 month driver’s license suspension.
    • Up to 9 months of DUI School.

    Subsequent offenses earn a driver more jail time, longer license suspensions, and more required DUI School. After a driver receives four DUI’s, or injures someone due to their recklessness, they will be charged with felony DUI.

    This comes with much heftier consequences, including:

    • A state prison stay ranging from 16 months to 16 years.
    • A max fine of $5,000, plus any owed restitution to victims.
    • A driver’s license suspension ranging from 1 to 5 years.
    • 18 to 30 months of DUI School.

    The exact consequences of felony DUI are dependent on the circumstances of the crime in question, mainly if another person was injured or not.

    California Assembly Bill 1713

    Recently, California lawmakers in the State Assembly began considering Assembly Bill (AB) 1713. This new bill seeks to tighten restrictions on drunk driving by lowering the legal BAC in California. At first, this bill seeks to make it more legal for those who have been drinking to drive, it actually does the opposite.

    By lowering the BAC from .08% to .05%, as the bill proposes, less alcohol would be required to be in a person’s blood for them to be considered drunk while driving. Many people across the state are in favor of this because they feel that having the standard at .08% is too high, and far too many drivers get away with driving while drunk because they didn’t reach that threshold.

    This new proposed standard may seem extreme, but it is important to remember that commercial drivers, taxi drivers, truckers, and bus drivers, are all held to this standard already here in California. This proposed bill would be relatively new ground, since only one other state in the country has lowered the BAC of DUI’s, that state being Utah.

    Don’t Drive While Drunk

    Driving while drunk is never a good idea. It puts the driver’s own life at risk, as well as everyone else’s. While intoxicated, a person’s brain is not up to the task of controlling a motor vehicle. They have slower reaction times, less control over their body, and therefore are more likely to get into an accident.

    With today’s modern technology, there is no reason to drive drunk. Anyone with a smartphone in their pocket can easily call a friend or family member to come pick them up, or better yet, hire a driver to come get them. With taxis, Lyft, and Uber, getting a ride home has never been easier.

    What do you think of this proposed bill? Should California go through with lowering the BAC of DUI’s, or should the limit be left where it is at .08%? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

    california roundabout laws

    Learning to Cope with Roundabouts in the US

    california roundabout laws

    There is no denying that the average driver has to deal with a lot of obnoxiousness while behind the wheel of the car. Any driver could list at least a dozen different scenarios that drive them absolutely crazy. Whether it dealing with jaywalking pedestrians, or tailgating jerks, every driver has dealt with their fair share of frustrations.

    While those scenarios are difficult and frustrating, there are others that don’t spring to mind but can be just as aggravating. These instances usually arise when the driver encounters something and they aren’t quite sure how to respond or proceed. A perfect example of this for most American drivers would be when they come across a roundabout.

    These relatively simple, at least on paper, traffic intersections can be quite confusing for us American drivers when encountered in the “wild.” However, they shouldn’t be feared. Many studies have proven that roundabouts can provide a lot of benefits. Most US drivers just need a refresher in how to handle them.

    What Are Roundabouts?

    For those drivers who have never encountered a roundabout, which isn’t impossible here in the US, a roundabout is a type of circular intersection that permits traffic to flow in one direction around the circle. Other common names include traffic circles and road circles. However, these two aren’t exactly accurate. A true roundabout doesn’t use any signs or signals to control the flow of traffic, whereas traffic circles do.

    Roundabouts are fairly uncommon across the United States. Meanwhile, they are extremely prominent in other countries. For instance, drivers in France, which had over 30,000 roundabouts in 2008, are around 25 times more likely to encounter a roundabout that drivers in the United States. This is quite impressive considering the vast size difference between the two countries.

    One study estimated that an American driver will go through roughly 1,100 intersections before ever encountering a roundabout. Going back to France, French drivers are estimated to encounter a roundabout every 45 intersections.

    These statistics are pretty impressive, considering that, according to the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society, American businessman William Phelps Eno was the first man to come up with a roundabout by designing the system for Columbus Circle in New York City.

    The Benefits of Roundabouts

    There have been dozens upon dozens of studies into roundabouts and their benefits. The largest benefit being how they help the flow of traffic. Unlike conventional intersections, roundabouts do not require traffic to stop, simply slow down. This means that traffic can keep moving at a steady pace, thereby reducing congestion.

    On top of keeping traffic moving, roundabouts have also been proven to be much safer than typical intersections. According to a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, on average, roundabouts experience 39% fewer vehicle collisions, 76% fewer injuries, and 90% fewer serious injuries and fatalities. This is largely due to the fact that they reduce speeds and reduce the amount of collision points in the intersection itself. Most collisions in roundabouts happen at much slower speeds and are only glancing blows, instead of head-on impacts.

    Lastly, due to the lack of stopping and idling at roundabouts, these intersections also help cut back on pollution. Cars are often able to keep moving through roundabouts, which means that gas they are burning is actually being used rather than being wasted. On top of that, since there is less stopping and going, there is less noise pollution as well. This is due to the fact that engines make more noise when they are working to get a car moving again after a full stop.

    How to Deal with Roundabouts

    Roundabouts are not as scary as they may appear. Often times, they only look confusing because they are new, not because they are difficult. There are a few simple rules to keep in mind when going through a roundabout.

    • Drivers entering a roundabout have to yield to cars already in the roundabout. A driver should never force their way into a roundabout, since cars in the circle have right-of-way.
    • Drivers should stay in their lane once in the roundabout. Do not change lanes partway through.
    • Never stop in a roundabout. These intersections are meant to keep traffic flowing, stopping within one will more than likely cause an accident.
    • Avoid driving next to over-sized vehicles. Large vehicles like buses and semi-trucks will likely drift into neighboring lanes as they make turns, so it is best to keep some distance.

    That’s all there is to it. So long as a driver pays attention to the signs as they approach, and keep these rules in mind, they will be just fine. They will be able to keep moving to their destination without having to stop and wait for a light to change.