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August 2017 Archives

Defining preliminary alcohol-screening tests

The common school of thought among many in Encino is that law enforcement officers cannot force them to do anything that they do not consent to. That assumption may be true in most cases, yet not when it applies to situations where one is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When one becomes licensed to drive in California, he or she essentially enters into a contract with the state that stipulates, in exchange for the privilege of driving, he or she agrees to submit to chemical testing to confirm whether or not he or she may be impaired. 

New tests look for drugged drivers

Now that voters in California have decided that marijuana will be legal for recreational use, some lawmakers are trying to regulate what that means in relation to traffic safety. The Associated Press reports that three large California counties are piloting a testing program that uses a driver's saliva to see if there are any drugs present in their system.

Why are California speeding tickets so expensive?

Millions of Americans have received and dealt with traffic citations, especially speeding tickets, that ended up crippling their wallets. Whether such pricey citations actually encourage drivers to reduce speeds is uncertain, but the amount of money violators must pay is a largely disputed topic. California has particularly costly speeding penalties, and while the law enforces equal penalties to speeding drivers, some experts claim that such tickets target poor residents and are spent toward unethical purposes.

New California law prevents driver’s license suspensions

On June 27, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed a bill that will provide protection from driver’s license suspensions for individuals with unpaid fines, according to the Associated Press. Under the new law, the courts will not be able to suspend a person’s driver’s license for unpaid fines incurred through certain traffic infractions. The provisions will not apply to persons whose licenses are already suspended. Proponents of the new law reason that the suspension of a driver’s license for unpaid fines is an inefficient means of obtaining payment for fees because it undermines an individual’s ability to drive to work without breaking the law. Put simply, according to supporters, the new law is designed to avoid punishing people for being poor. Nonetheless, failure to appear in court may still cause a person to incur additional fines and be subject to license suspension.

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