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.

road rage rialto bail bonds

Don’t Let Road Rage Ruin Your Life

road rage rialto bail bonds

With summer in full swing, people from all over the state of California, and the rest of the country, are busy enjoying summer their vacation. While this is fun for a lot of people, the trips can be a bit taxing. Nobody likes to be stuck in a car for extended periods of time. Doing that can make just about anyone cranky. If this affects the driver, it can easily lead to a bit of road rage.

Pretty much every driver out there assumes they are better than everyone else at driving. Their feelings often get “proven” when another driver makes a bad decision. This can lead to road rage, which if not kept in check, can quickly spiral out of control. One Alabama woman recently learned this fact the hard way.

Road Rage Shooting Incident

In Dodge City, Alabama, couple were driving their car when things got a bit heated between them and another driver. As their road rage grew worse, the woman pulled a gun out. She attempted to shoot the other driver, but missed. She somehow ended up shooting her husband.

The wife was arrested and her husband taken to a local hospital in critical condition after being shot in the head. The wife is facing charges of attempted murder, second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment.

Tips to Deal with Road Rage

The fact that people have very little patience when they are tired and stressed is no secret. Everyone gets a bit cranky like this. For many people, they are most cranky and stressed when they are behind the wheel of vehicle. A person has to deal with so many people while driving, and it’s a good chance that they are just as upset. This is why driving creates prime conditions for road rage.

At the end of the day, no one wants to drive while angry. It just isn’t fun. Luckily there are ways to avoid and/or manage road rage.

  • Be kind. A person can prevent road rage from spreading by not shouting at other drivers or using rude gestures.
  • Drive safely. This not only means following the rules of the road, but expecting other drivers to not follow those rules. By being prepared for another driver to make a bad decision, a person is less likely to be caught off guard and become enraged.
  • Plan ahead. While not always possible, planning ahead and leaving at a decent time will make drives less stressful. When a person is running late, they become stressed and more susceptible to road rage.
  • Remain calm. This can be done by taking deep breaths and either listening to calming music or podcasts that get a person thinking about things other than driving. This also includes being understanding of other drivers and recognizing that everyone makes mistakes from time to time.
  • Stay safe. If an angry person ever gets out of their car to talk to a person, that person should make sure their doors are locked and keep on driving. If the other driver begins to follow the person, don’t stop. That person should keep driving and either call the police or drive to the nearest police station.

By doing these things, a person stands a better chance of not getting upset themselves, and not upsetting other drivers as well.

Stay Calm and Safe This Summer

Driving is a big part of everyday life, especially if someone is driving to their vacation. A person should never let road rage ruin their summer vacation, or their life. Things can change in an instant, especially when someone is angry. Don’t let that happen. Stay calm and remember that every other driver on the road is just trying to get to somewhere alive like you are.

Do you have a favorite summer vacation drive? Have you ever had a terrifying road rage encounter before? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

back to school tips ontario bail bonds

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.

downed traffic light upland bail bonds

Do You Know What to Do When a Traffic Light Stops Working?

downed traffic light

With all of the technology around us that helps keep the world running, it can be hard to imagine what things used to be like before that tech existed. How could people have lived without all of this amazing stuff? Well, every once in a while we get to find out. As amazing as all of this tech is, it isn’t indestructible, and can sometimes come crashing down.

Take for instance one of the most important bits of technology for drivers, especially those traveling through cities: Stoplights. These simple bits of tech may not seem like a big deal, but when they go down, they can cause quite a commotion.

Who Would Have Thought Traffic Lights Would Have Such an Impact

As drivers, everyone expects that everything will go their way. Cars will drive on the right side of the road, drivers will stay in their lanes, and use turn signals when needed. When something like this doesn’t work properly, such as a driver not signaling their turn or lane change, it can be frustrating.

What can be more frustrating, and even confusing for some, is when a traffic light goes down. Traffic lights can go down for a few different reasons, such as:

  • Power outage
  • Computer failure
  • Maintenance

When this occurs, all of the lights in the intersection will either blink the red light on and off, or they will go black entirely. This can cause a lot of confusion for drivers who were expecting the light to be working and telling them how to proceed through the intersection.

So, what are drivers supposed to do when they come across and intersection with stoplights that are not working?

How to Drive Through Downed Stoplights

The answer to that questions is actually very simple and straight forward. When stoplights go down, drivers are supposed to treat the intersection the same way they would one controlled by stop signs.

This means that drivers need to come to a full stop before entering the intersection. They should allow other drivers who reached the limit line before them to go first. So long as everyone is polite and takes their turn, things will move smoothly.

Some drivers assume that if the road they are on is a main road, and the other one a minor one, they on the main road do not have to stop. This is wrong. All cars in all directions have to stop before entering the intersection. Ironically, by stopping this keeps traffic moving in all directions.

Everyone has seen a working stoplight intersection before, and can reproduce it on a smaller, turn-based scale. For example, the traffic could proceed as follows, one car at a time per lane:

    1. Cars on the up and down road seeking to make a left can go first.

    2. Cars going straight on the up and down road go next.

    3. Cars making left turns on the right and left road go next.

    4. Cars going straight on the right and left roads go next.

    5. Repeat the process.

So long as everyone works together, things will run smoothly.

Just Take Turns

Dealing with a downed traffic light isn’t exactly fun. When people are driving, they expect everything to be working properly so that they can get to their destination on time. With all of the technology at our disposal, this should be easy, but sometimes, tech fails.

Something as small as a traffic light going down can greatly slow down a person’s commute. However, trying to rush through a down intersection only create more problems for everyone else. It is in everybody’s interest to work together and take turns.

Do you have another good example of when a small bit of tech goes down that had a bigger impact than you might have guessed? Share it in the comments down below.

social media safety tips

Sharing Your Summer Plans Online Can Be a Bad Idea

social media safety tips

As the weather begins to warm up and chase away the cold winds of winter, people begin to emerge from their hiding places of warmth and safety. Spring allows people to venture outside once again and enjoy some fresh air. The season signals the end of winter and heralds in the warmer months of summer.

With the inevitable approach of summer inching closer, people begin to make their plans for the season, namely their vacations. Everyone needs to take a break from their day to day lives from time to time, and a vacation allows this. It is a chance to break away from the normal and have an adventure, or just a chance to relax. No matter what a person chooses to do on their vacation, they know they will have fun.

As with anything that is exciting in a person’s life, there is an intense desire to share the experience with loved ones. While this used to mean having them come along on the trip, nowadays, it can simply mean posting about the vacation on social media. However, doing so can actually cause problems for the person in question.

Talking about Trips Online Can Be an Invitation for Thieves

With all of the social media sites and apps out there, it can be hard for a person not to share their life with others. It has practically become second nature to share with others online. This can be a bit problematic when it comes to vacations. Anyone going on a vacation wants to post about it, however, they may be sharing this information with the wrong people.

Social media sites are great because they allow us to share with the world. Unfortunately, this means that world has access to information about us as well. While, for the most part, only loved one look at one another’s social media, thieves have learned to use these sites to their advantage. For instance, posting the dates of an upcoming trip tells a would-be thieve exactly when the house is going to be empty.

It is very important for people to realize that they can overshare information. As a general rule of thumb, most people are aware that they should never share personal information, such as a home address or social security number, online. However, it is also a good idea to not post about upcoming or current trips as doing so could be an open invitation for thieves. It is a good idea for people to not share the specific dates of their vacation online. They also shouldn’t share vacation photos until after they have returned home since doing so during the trip is just another sign that the person isn’t home.

Having social media accounts set so that only approved people can see what is posted is a good idea, but not always foolproof. Sometimes friends, who may or may not have strict privacy settings, can share information with their friends. This could make it so that thieves still learn when a person isn’t home.

Don’t Overshare about Your Vacation

Everyone needs a little vacation from time to time. However, no one wants to come home from their relaxing trip to find that their home has been robbed. That would completely erase the relaxation felt from the trip and cause an untold amount of stress. In order to avoid that unnecessary stress, a person should be careful about what they post online about their vacations and other planned trips. They do not want to advertise to the world that their home will be empty for the next few days. Thieves see that as an open invitation to let themselves inside.

Since talking about any upcoming summer trips online is a bit of a bad idea, why not share some of your favorite vacations? What is your favorite summer trip that you think others would enjoy? Let us know in the comments down below.

consequences for serving alcohol to minors

Parents, Don’t Serve Alcohol at Graduation Parties

consequences for serving alcohol to minors

As summer draws nearer, students of all ages grow more and more antsy. Soon enough, school will let out for the most marvelous break of all, summer vacation. While all students look forward to the end of this school year, one group is more excited than all of the others. This group is, of course, the seniors in high school.

For high school seniors, the end of this school year is the end of their public school career. While some will be heading off to college, others may be heading off to a trade school or straight to a new job. Whatever a student is heading to, this is an exciting time. Naturally, this leads to a lot of celebrating and parties.

While many of these soon-to-be ex-students will be legal adults, they will still be too young to consume any alcohol. Since no one wants to end up breaking any laws, parents need to be careful when they are hosting graduation parties. If they aren’t careful, they could find themselves liable for a drunk driving accident.

Minors, Alcohol, and Host Liability in California

When it comes to raising young adults, parents all have their own, unique approach. For some parents, being over 18, but under the age of 21, means that their child cannot have alcohol no matter what. Other parents feel it is okay to allow their child to have a few drinks, provided they have adult supervision. Unfortunately, for those latter parents, that is actually against the law here in California under Business and Professions (BP) Code 25658.2.

Here in the state of California, it is illegal for anyone, including the parents, to allow a minor to consume alcohol in public or in their own household. If the minor then leaves the house and drives or causes a traffic accident, not only will the minor face legal charges, the adult who gave them the alcohol will face misdemeanor charges. This means the adult could face up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000.
This makes things very difficult for anyone planning on hosting a graduation party. Party hosts are responsible for ensuring that the minors at their parties stay safe and healthy. Responsible adults need to take all reasonable steps to ensure that no underage drinking occurs at any of their parties. This means doing more than just telling the minors that they can’t have any alcohol if the host is providing alcohol to the adults at the party. If a minor does have alcohol, and then drives away from the party, the host could be held responsible for any accidents caused by the drunk minor.

If a drunk minor were to get into an accident, they would face harsh repercussions related to DUI. Aside from that, the adult in charge of the party could face legal charges such as contributing to the delinquency of a minor and furnishing a minor with alcohol. Plus, the adult could be held liable for paying for any of the damages caused by the minor, which depending on the size of the accident, could be very costly.

It Is Better for Everyone to Keep Things Safe and Sober

Nobody wants to deal with a drunk driving accident, especially if it involves a minor on the verge of graduating from high school. The results of an accident like that could be utterly devastating. That is why it is best to keep alcohol far away from graduation parties.

While graduating seniors are on their way to becoming full-fledged adults, they aren’t quite there yet. They are still in the tail end of that teen phase, and as all adults will attest to, teens don’t make the best decisions. That is why the legal drinking age across the country is 21. By then, teens have typically matured a little more and are more prepared to take on all of the responsibility that comes with consuming alcohol.

What do you think of California’s take on minors and drinking? Is the state too strict, or is it on the right path? What about the states take on host responsibility? Do you think party hosts should be held liable for any damages caused by a minor that got drunk at their party? Let us know what you think in the comments down below, and congratulations to all the seniors out their preparing to graduate from high school.

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.