animal cruelty laws in california

Animal Abuse Now Illegal at the Federal Level

animal cruelty laws in california

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

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

The PACT Act

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

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

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

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

Animal Abuse in California

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

When charged as a misdemeanor, a person faces:

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

When charged as a felony, a person faces:

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

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

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

Take Care of Animals

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

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

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

Stay-Safe-While-Shopping

Shop Safely This Holiday Season

Stay-Safe-While-Shopping

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

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

Shopping Safety Tips

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

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

Online Shopping Safety Tips

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

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

Don’t Fall Victim to Crooks

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

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

underage drinking laws

Can Minors Have Alcohol in California?

underage drinking laws

There are certain laws that everyone knows about, such as don’t drive over the speed limit, don’t steal things from other people, and anyone under 21 is not allowed to drink alcohol. However, while these laws are well known, a lot of people tend to ignore them, which is never a good idea.

Ignoring a law is a good way to get into trouble. One slip up could cause a person to be arrested or forced to pay a fine. This is especially true when it comes to laws surrounding minors and alcohol. Breaking a law is bad enough as an adult, abut as a minor it can lead to problems down the line.

Minors and Alcohol Laws in California

Here in the state of California, it is illegal for minors to consume alcohol under Business and Professions Code (BPC) 25658. Under this law, it is illegal to do the following:

  • Sell alcohol to a minor, anyone under the age of 21.
  • Buying alcohol as a minor is illegal.
  • It is a misdemeanor to give alcohol to a minor who then gets into a car accident for driving while drunk.
  • It is a misdemeanor to allow a minor to consume alcohol on business property regardless if the person knew the minor was under 21 or not.

BPC 25658 is just one of several state laws that restrict the usage of alcohol amongst minors. For instance, BPC 25662 makes it illegal for a minor to even be in possession of alcohol.

Under these two laws, a minor can never posses or consume alcohol, not even if their parent or legal guardian allows them to have the alcohol. While that particular instance may be okay in some states, it is illegal here in California. Minors can never have alcohol. This is further confirmed by DUI laws related to minors.

When it comes to driving while intoxicated, adults have to worry about having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. Minors get into trouble if they have a BAC over 0.01%.

Penalties of Breaking These Laws

In most instances of minors with alcohol, both the minor and the adult that provided them with the alcohol will face consequences. The exact consequences that a person will face are dependent on which law was broken. In most instances, the person will face misdemeanor charges.

When a minor is caught with alcohol in their possession, under BPC 25662, they face misdemeanor charges. This includes:

  • A $250 fine for first time offenses. A $500 fine for subsequent offenses.
  • 24 -32 hours of community service, either at an alcohol/drug treatment center or a county coroner’s office.
  • Participation in a youth drunk driver program.
  • 1 year driver’s license suspension or a 1 year delay in acquiring a driver’s license.

Breaking BPC 25658, whether as a minor consuming alcohol or as an adult providing alcohol to a minor, is a misdemeanor offense. Someone accused of this crime faces:

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

If a minor is caught driving while under the influence of alcohol with a BAC of 0.01%, they will face a 1 year suspension of their driver’s license under Vehicle Code (VC) 23136. This is the state’s zero tolerance law for underage drinking and driving.

If a minor is caught driving with a BAC of 0.05% or greater, they will face consequences under VC 23140. This is the states underage DUI law. It comes with the following, infraction level consequences:

  • No jail time.
  • 1 year driver’s license suspension.
  • 3 months of mandatory alcohol education program.

If a minor has a BAC of 0.08% or higher, than they can be charged with regular DUI, which carries harsher consequences.

Don’t Give Minors Alcohol

Alcohol can be enjoyable, when consumed responsibly. Minors under the age of 21 are often not mature enough to handle alcohol. This can lead to them over consuming, and then putting themselves into dangerous or life-threatening situations, which is why they are prohibited from drinking. This is also why it is such a big deal for adults to give alcohol to minors.

With the holiday season starting up, there will be a lot more parties and a lot more alcohol around. If anyone has family visiting from other states where minors are allowed to consume alcohol when their parent or legal guardian permits it, inform them that California sees things differently.

What do you think of California’s take on minors and alcohol? Is the state taking the right precautions or does it need to loosen up a bit? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

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.

pet safety during summer rancho cucamonga bail bonds

Be Careful Where You Walk Your Dog This Summer

pet safety during summer

Taking care of others isn’t always easy. Often times, the other person or creature needs constant supervision to keep them safe and healthy. Without a constant, watchful eye, the dependent could cause trouble, get hurt, or worse. This is often the case with pets, especially dogs.

Dogs have a tendency to be more high maintenance than cats. Of course, this isn’t to say there are no high maintenance cats out there, but dogs take the lead. They need to be walked and cleaned regularly. Luckily, with summer here, walking dogs is no big deal. The mornings and evening in summer provide the best weather for taking a pup on a nice stroll around a park or along a hiking trail. However, there is a danger for dogs lurking along trails and out there in the wilderness, one that many people would not initially expect.

Foxtails Can Be Harmful to Dogs

Everyone knows that summer brings warmer weather with it. While this warmer weather can be enjoyable for going outside, it cooks the landscape. As plants begin to dry up, many of them begin to seed before dying. One grass in particular has what, at first glance, may appear harmless, but in actuality can be dangerous to dogs. These plants are called foxtail grasses.

Foxtail grasses are clumps of grasses that come in varying sizes. The grasses can be recognized by their fluffy looking flower and seed cluster. These seed clusters often hold hundreds of seeds that all look like tiny foxtails, which is where the name comes from.

A person has often encountered these seeds while hiking when they feel something poking them in their sock. These seeds are great at getting lodged into anything scraggily, such as socks, and can be very uncomfortable. Luckily, when a person feels the seed poking them, it can be removed easily enough with a bit of firm pulling to untangle it. Unfortunately, for fury companions, getting stuck with one of these seeds can be more harmful.

These seeds like to get lodged in dog’s furs, ears, and noses. Not only is this likely incredibly annoying for the poor pooch, it can cause a bit of harm to the pup if left untreated. The seeds can end up getting lodged further into the skin, where it can cause an infection. The infection can become lethal to the dog if left untreated.

In order to keep dogs healthy and happy, and owner needs to brush down their dog after any walk. This should remove any foxtails from the pup’s fur. Then the owner should checks for any foxtails in their dog’s ears, nose, and in-between paws. If any are found, they should be removed as soon as possible. If things start to get bad, the person should take their dog to the vet.

Keep an Eye out for Foxtails

After California’s surprisingly rainy spring, there are plenty of foxtails out their just waiting to get lodged in some poor dog’s fur. A dog owner should choose their walking locations carefully, and avoid any areas where foxtails. A person should also weed their yard and get rid of any foxtail grasses there to help keep the yard safe for dogs.

All any good dog owner wants to do is keep their pup healthy and happy, and keeping the pooch away from foxtails is a great way to do that. Has your pooch ever had a bad encounter with foxtails? Do you have any tips for dealing with foxtails, or for any other problems that a caring dog owner should know about? Share them in the comments below and help others keep their pups safe from harm.

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.

pet safety 4th of july san bernardino bail bonds

People May Enjoy Fireworks, but Pets Don’t

pet safety 4th of july

The Fourth of July is rapidly approaching, and everyone is anxiously awaiting all of the celebrations. There will be food, parties, games, and fireworks. Celebrating the Fourth of July is a big deal, and a whole lot of fun. Everyone is looking forward to it, well, almost everyone anyways.

While people are all very excited about the Fourth of July and how it is celebrated, there is one group out there that doesn’t enjoy the fireworks. Pets all over the United States have varying feelings about fireworks. Some are indifferent towards them, and others are outright terrified. A pet owner needs to consider this before they go out celebrating for the holiday.

Pets Don’t Appreciate Fireworks

Unlike humans, pets aren’t really big fans of fireworks. The problem usually lies in the fact that they don’t understand what the fireworks and explosions are. They don’t see all of the fuss as fun. All they know is that there are a lot of flashing lights and loud explosions that can shake the house. These sounds are already loud for humans, and are much louder for animals who have better hearing, such as cats and dogs.

In order to make sure that a pet feels safe and secure this Fourth of July, a pet owner needs to be there for their animal. Here are a few tips for pet owners to help their pet stay safe this Fourth of July:

  • For starters, keep dogs and cats indoors for the night. This can greatly reduce the chances of the animals running away. This also means dogs should be walked in the late afternoon, early evening before any fireworks begin.
  • Pets should always have some form of identification on them, whether that is a collar or a microchip. This helps increase the chances of the animal being found again if it does run away.
  • Prepare a safe place or den for the animal in their favorite hiding spot. This way if they are scared, they can go someplace that makes them feel safe and comfortable.
  • Be calm and don’t yell at the animal. Yelling can stress out the animal even more.
  • Don’t force animals to cuddle if they don’t want to. Just allow the animal to do whatever it needs to in order to feel safe.
  • Close curtains and blinds to dampen light and noise coming in from fireworks. Also have a radio or TV playing, but not too loud, to help drown out the sounds.
  • Avoid leaving pets home alone on Fourth of July, this can cause more stress for them, and lead to them creating a mess in the house.
  • Never leave dogs tied up outside on the Fourth of July. That is a sure fire way to stress out the animal, which could lead to it hurting itself or running away.
  • Never take a dog to a firework show, even if they do not seem fazed by fireworks. This could still be a frightening experience for the pooch.

Keep Pets in Mind This Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is meant to be a fun holiday celebrating the nation’s independence. Unfortunately, while setting off fireworks is a fun for people, pets don’t appreciate the loud booms and colorful flashes. Fireworks can be absolutely terrifying for them. When a pet is scared, it is up to their owner to take care of them.

Every pet responds to fireworks a little differently, so each pet will need its own unique solutions to help it stay calm. Do you have a pet that is terrified of fireworks? If so, do you have any tips to help keep it calm that aren’t on this list? Share them in the comments below and help other pet owners keep their furry companies safe and happy this Fourth of July.

fireworks safety tips san bernardino bail bonds

Follow These Tips to Stay Safe This Fourth of July

fireworks safety tips

There is no denying that the Fourth of July is pretty big deal here in the United States of America. What may be just another day for the rest of the world, is our country’s birthday. All birthdays should be celebrated with parties, and this holiday is no exception. Pretty much everyone across the country will be hosting or going to a party in celebration of the Fourth of July.

One of the biggest ways that people celebrate this day, is by setting off fireworks. These fun explosives will light up the night sky on July 4th and fill the air with their booms and crackles. While setting off fireworks is tradition, and fun, a person needs to be careful. They do not want to end up rushing off to the emergency room because they mishandled a firework.

How to Handle Fireworks Safely

No matter how fun they may be, at the end of the day, fireworks are explosives. As such, they should be treated with the proper care and respect. If a person fails to do that, they could hurt themselves, or others. They could even cause property damage.

In order to help prevent anything bad from happening this Fourth of July, here are few firework safety tips.

  • Children should not use fireworks. After all, fire is in the name and these are explosive devices. Children should not handle fireworks as they are much more likely to harm themselves or others
  • .

  • Don’t drink when setting off fireworks. Consuming alcohol makes a person more likely to make bad decisions and engage in reckless behavior. The same is true for drug use, such as marijuana. When a person is setting off fireworks, they need to be careful and fully aware of what they are doing.
  • Only light one firework at a time. When it comes to dangerous materials, a person wants to remain in control at all times. One of the best ways to do that with fireworks is to set them off at a controlled pace, one at a time. This reduces the chances of one misfiring and causing an out-of-control chain reaction.
  • Keep water sources ready and on hand. Used fireworks should be placed in a bucket of water to ensure they do not go off again unexpectedly. Meanwhile a hose or fire extinguisher should be kept on and nearby in case something needs to be put out.
  • Never attempt to fix duds. If a firework fails to go off, dump it in a water bucket and move on. Do not try to fix it. Doing so could accidently trigger it or cause it to catastrophically malfunction once triggered.
  • Designate one lighter. Again, fireworks should be set off carefully. Another good way to do this is to have one person in charge of setting them off. Everyone else should keep their distance from the launching area.
  • Set fireworks off on a stable surface. Wherever a person is setting off fireworks, it should be stable and level. Any slight deviation could easily send a firework flying in the wrong direction.
  • Never set off fireworks indoors. This one is pretty self-explanatory.
  • Follow local laws. California has strict laws about fireworks, and so do many cities across the state. A person should follow those local laws. They were established to help keep people safe.
  • Only buy fireworks from licensed vendors. California is very strict about what kind of fireworks a citizen can set off. These fireworks, labeled: Safe and Sane, can be found at fireworks vendors that pop up around the Fourth of July.

Be Safe This Fourth of July

The festivities common with the Fourth of July are meant to be fun. However, that fun can quickly be ruined if a person isn’t careful. One wrong action is all it takes to send a person to the emergency room, or to damage someone’s personal property. In 2017, around 13,000 people were hospitalized and over 18,000 fires were started by fireworks. That is why a person needs to be extra cautious when handling fireworks.

Fireworks are spectacular sights to behold. Do you have a favorite Fourth of July or firework memory? If so, share it down in the comments below.

what is assembly bill 1498 san bernardino bail bonds

Shaming Parents Behind on Child Support Payments

what is assembly bill 1498 san bernardino bail bonds

Getting a divorce can be a pretty ugly mess, especially when children are involved. Custody battles can be terrible, and can cause rifts between both parents that last a lifetime. However, those differences should be put aside for the sake of the children, no matter which parent they end up with. After all, by having kids in the first place, both parents signed on to the job of taking care of and raising them.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen after a divorce. Even though a parent may have lost custody of their children, they still usually have to pay some form of child support because children are expensive. If a parent doesn’t pay that money, the other parent will struggle to provide their children with what they need. This isn’t fair to the kids, which is why some California lawmakers are looking into ways to ensure that parents always pay their child support.

Assembly Bill 1498

In an effort to ensure that kids always get the support they need from their parents, some lawmakers here in California have authored a new bill. Under this new bill, some parents who are behind on their child support payments might get some extra encouragement to start making those payments.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1498 was authored by California Assemblyman Tom Lackey and introduced to the State Assembly earlier this year. The bill proposes creating a new website that would publicly display important information about parents who are behind on their child support using a similar method that a few other states have adopted. Some of the information that would be on display includes:

  • Name
  • Photo
  • Amount of child support owed
  • Zip code
  • Number of children

The idea is that by displaying this information in a public way, the parent will be peer pressured into making up those missed child support payments. It is important to note that not every parent who is behind on child support payments will be listed on the site.

For starters, the ex-spouse of the parent would have to okay the act of putting the other parent on the site, since it could draw unwanted attention towards the children. On top of that, only parents who owe more than $5,000, have been delinquent for a minimum of 12 months, and have not made a payment in 6 months. The parent cannot be going through any financial trouble, such as bankruptcy, or be locked up in jail or prison to be eligible to be placed on the site.

This proposed bill, of course, has supporters and opponents. There are those who that this sort of shaming is deserved if a parent isn’t doing their part in taking care of their child. However, there are those who argue that this is taking things too far.

The Consequences as They Are Now

Currently, when a parent is behind on their child support payments, there are some pretty big consequences. After all, this money is meant to help raise a child, and as such, falling behind on the payments is a very bad thing. Aside from the basic penalty of acquiring interest on the late payments, there are harsher consequences as well. Some of the consequences for falling behind on child support include:

  • Revoking the parent’s driver’s license.
  • Intercepting the parent’s wages and transferring them directly to the custodial parent.
  • Intercepting the parent’s tax returns or unemployment.
  • Placing a lien on the parent’s property.
  • Deny passport, or other government, applications.

In cases where the parent has the money for the child support, but refuses to pay it, that parent could face legal trouble and jail time.

Child Support Is a Very Big Deal

Paying child support is a very big deal. In theory, it is money that would have been there had the parents not become separated in the first place. That money is meant to ensure that the child is provided with everything he or she needs growing up. That is why it is such a big deal when a parent falls behind on child support payments, and why lawmakers here in California are looking for more ways to ensure that parents keep up with parents.

Lawmakers like Assemblyman Lackey hope that by publicly shaming parents who are behind on their child support payments, the parent will be more likely to avoid falling behind, or work harder at making up those payments. The idea is to use peer pressure in a good way.

What do you think of this proposed bill? Is it a good thing, or are lawmakers taking things too far? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.