Tag Archives: Florida

New Changes to the Florida Move Over Law Go Into Effect

On July 1, 2014, changes to the Florida ‘Move Over Law’ went into effect to include more at-risk Failure to Move over Ticket in Floridaworkers in need of protection on Florida roads.  The Move Over Law made it mandatory for drivers to either move over a lane or drastically slow down when some types of emergency or utility vehicles were on the side of the road.  Until July 1, the law mainly covered law enforcement and first responders; it has now been changed to include other vehicles as well, including utility vehicles, sanitation vehicles and tow trucks.

Under the Move Over Law, if a driver is driving on a multi-lane highway and there is one of these vehicles on the side of the road, he or she must move over a lane if it is safe to do so and slow down by 20 MPH.  On narrower, two-lane streets, drivers must slow down by at least 20 miles per hour when they pass one of these vehicles.  If the speed limit is already under 20 miles per hour, a driver must slow down to 5 MPH.

The fine for violating the Move Over Law in Florida is $120, but this can vary depending on which county the violation occurs in.  There is also a three-point penalty on the violator’s driver’s license.

Nearly every state in the country has some sort of Move Over Law on the books.  They were enacted in response to the high numbers of police officers who are killed every year when they are struck by vehicles on American highways.  By one estimate, almost 165 officers died across the nation over a 10-year period.  This does not include other workers who are often struck on the side of the road that this new law is meant to protect, such as tow truck drivers, sanitation and utility workers.

U.S. Airways Pilot Arrested for DUI in North Naples

When Jimmy Carrillo was pulled over for running a stop sign in North Naples, it appeared to be a us airways commercial airline pilot arrest for DUIroutine DUI stop.  Carrillo, 35 of Daytona Beach, failed to stop near the Mercado on U.S. 41.  He told officers that he’d just been drinking at the Blue Martini.  When asked how much he had been drinking, Carrillo held up four fingers and told the officers that he had only consumed two drinks.

The difference between Carrillo’s case and any other DUI stop is that Carrillo is a commercial airline pilot for U.S. Airways.  During his stop, he didn’t know what city he was in, he stated that he thought he was in Fort Myers and had to be reminded he was in North Naples.  He also told police that he was due to fly in 12 hours.  Reportedly, the airline has suspended Carrillo pending an investigation into the outcome into this case.

Commercial airline pilots are held to a higher standard when it comes to operating an airline while impaired because of the severe amount of damage that can occur if they make a mistake because they are drunk or high.  The FAA notoriously has a long list of medications that can or cannot be taken by pilots within a certain number of hours before flying, even ones which normally not be something to be perceived as a medication that causes impairment such as antidepressants, asthma medications or erectile dysfunction medications.

The law is very clear when it comes to alcohol use by commercial airline pilots.  Pilots are not allowed to fly at all within 8 hours of drinking any alcoholic beverage.  Under no exception are they allowed to fly with more than a .04% BAC.  The law also makes it illegal to be at all under the influence of alcohol while flying.

However, what the law says and what the FAA recommends a pilot do if he or she has been drinking is different.  FAA recommendations are much stricter and generally says that simply following an 8 hour “bottle to throttle” rule is not enough.  The FAA suggests that waiting a full 24 hours after drinking is a better option before flying and also suggests that pilots don’t fly at all if they are hungover, even if they aren’t really drunk anymore, since that can also affect their ability to fly a plane.

Without knowing what Carrillo’s BAC was at the time he was arrested, it is not really possible to determine whether he would have had an illegal amount of alcohol in his system at the time he was due to fly the plane, although it does seem possible.  Even if he had let enough time pass so that he didn’t have a BAC over .04%, it does seem likely that he still would have been otherwise impaired or hungover.

4 Tips for Partying Safely this July 4th Weekend

Fourth of July, especially when it falls on a weekend, is one of the summer holidays that is tips for partying safely july 4th weekend 2014synonymous with barbecuing with friends and family and having a couple of cold beers while watching the fireworks.

However, Forth of July weekend can also be one of the most dangerous on Florida roads when it comes to drinking and driving accidents and deaths, leading police to crack down on all drivers.   Dozens of people die in traffic accidents during a Fourth of July weekend while hundreds more get arrested for driving under the influence and thousands get tickets for other driving infractions such as speeding.  Here are some ways that you can keep yourself safe on the road this holiday weekend.

1.  Plan Ahead – Make sure that you designated a responsible person to stay sober when you are out partying and have them drive home.  Always have a contingency plan in case your designated driver does not work out.  Have the numbers for a few taxi companies handy.  Many groups, such as the AAA for example, will offer free rides home to those who cannot drive because they have been drinking.  Research these options before you go out.

2.  Wear Your Seat belt – Wearing your seat belt is the law in Florida and can save your life if you are involved in an accident with someone.  Additionally, law enforcement usually steps up enforcement of seat belt laws during holiday weekends. And if you have had a few drinks and decide to drive…not wearing your seat belt gives police a reason to pull you over leaving you more susceptible to a DUI charge.

3.  Follow Traffic Laws – Don’t speed, run stop signs and red lights, or otherwise drive recklessly.  This is good advice for every time you are driving, but especially during holidays like the 4th of July when there are a lot more police officers patrolling the roads. You are way more likely to be pulled over and ticketed leaving you with a hefty fine and points on your drivers license. And those points on your license could lead to a license suspension and higher insurance premiums.

4.  Drive for the Conditions Around You – if it is raining or difficult to see, slow down.  It may take longer to get to your destination, but will keep you safer in the long run. Getting to your 4th of July party quicker isn’t worth getting into a car accident and potentially being seriously injured or injuring someone else.

If, by some chance, you are involved in an accident over this holiday weekend, are arrested for driving under the influence, or pulled over and issued a citation for a traffic violation, our attorneys are here for you.  With our experienced lawyers on your side, we will do everything in our power to try and get you the best possible result for your case no matter how big(DUI) or small(traffic ticket).