The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

Naples Legal Blog

The ABC's of BAC measurements

You know that no two people in Naples are alike. How, then, is a breathalyzer device able to come up with an accurate reading for different individuals? This is the question that many clients bring to us here at The Caldarone Law Group, P.A., and it is this question that serves as the basis for many defenses against drunk driving charges. While breathalyzer technology is advanced, that does that not mean it is infallible. Understanding how a breathalyzer device comes up with a BAC reading can help you understand how such a reading may be challenged. 

As has been detailed on this blog in the past, a breathalyzer measures the ethanol alcohol content of your breath. Your breath acquires its ethanol concentration as the ethanol absorbed into your blood vaporizes upon coming in contact with the oxygen in your lungs. As more ethanol is vaporized, its concentration in your blood decreases to the point of achieving an equilibrium with that which is in the air in your lungs. It is that assumed equilibrium that serves as the basis for breathalyzer BAC measurements. 

Underage drinking: protecting the interests of your child

As a parent, there is nothing more concerning than to learn that your child is facing a problem that could negatively impact his or her future. If your Florida teenager is facing criminal charges associated with underage drinking, you may be wondering what you can do and how you can protect the interests of your kid. Juvenile offenses are serious, and they often require a serious defense strategy.

Underage drinking and drunk driving are some of the most common offenses committed by minors. The law has strict standards regarding accountability for those who break the law, even if they are underage. Your child has rights, and with help, you can work to preserve those rights and shield his or her future from a serious criminal conviction.

Detailing the duty to render aid

It is well understood that the first few moments following a car accident in Naples can be quite traumatic. Yet once one has had the chance to collect their thoughts and assess their physical condition, it is time to act. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that there have been 302,430 car accidents in the state this year alone. That number represents 302,430 situations where those involved in such collisions had the opportunity (insofar as they were able to) assist others who were also affected. 

Some might argue that while rendering such assistance may be the honorable thing to do, there is no moral obligation to do it. They would be right; the obligation is actually a legal one. According to Section 316.062(1) of Florida's State Uniform Traffic Control Code, anyone who is involved in a car accident (in any degree) has a legal duty to render aid to other accident victims (provided they themselves are capable of doing so). One may not be expected to provide actual hands-on care, but they are expected to summon first responders, as well as to transport (or arrange for the transportation of) any accident victims to the nearest medical facility. All those involved in a crash must also be prepared to provide (on top of their drivers' licenses) the following information: 

  • Name
  • Address
  • Vehicle registration information

Whose drugs are they?

If you face drug charges in Florida, your freedom could be at stake. Depending upon which drug and how much of it law enforcement officers allege you possessed at the time they arrested you, a conviction could result in a long jail or prison term plus a hefty fine.

Regardless of what drug charges you face, however, a conviction requires the prosecutor to first prove that you actually possessed the drugs in question. (S)he has two ways to do this: proving actual possession or proving constructive possession.

How Florida's auto insurance laws affect you

Owning a car in Florida means you must carry insurance. Each state has its own requirements for the kinds and amounts of coverage you need, and Florida is unique among them in several ways. Because this is one of the few states that still has no-fault insurance laws, you would do well to understand what your responsibilities are in the event of an injury-causing accident.

It is also a good idea to know the terms of your auto insurance coverage, particularly your personal injury protection and bodily injury liability policies. Chances are you are not adequately covered if you or your passengers suffer serious injuries in an accident. There is also a very good chance that the other driver's insurance is not able to help you.

Behaviors that constitute prescription drug abuse

When people hear the term "drug abuse," their first thought is often extreme addictions to drugs like methamphetamine or heroine among others. However, prescription drug abuse is also a common problem in Florida and one that is not as noticeably prevalent. When people understand the behaviors that constitute prescription drug abuse, they can take active measures to protect themselves from potentially misusing a drug and putting themselves at risk of becoming addicted or injured. 

According to the Foundations Recovery Network, using a prescription drug incorrectly is when people use it any other way than is specifically laid out by their health care provider or pharmacist. This includes grinding a drug or inhaling it when it has been designated as one that should be swallowed. Other abusive behaviors include taking drugs with alcohol or other drugs or taking a dosage higher than the one prescribed. When people take their prescription more frequently than prescribed, this is another form of misuse. 

What treatments are available for alcohol addiction?

If you’ve recently received a drunk driving charge in Naples, your problems may extend beyond just legal matters. In fact, this could be a sign of alcohol addiction, which entails ill-effects ranging from legal to personal. Getting treatment is crucial in this case, and WebMD explains some of the different options you can utilize on the road to recovery.

Medications

Explaining Florida's Move Over law

Being stranded on the side of the road in Naples is never a pleasant situation to be in. Not only are you forced to deal with whatever issue is impairing your vehicle, but you also put yourself at the mercy of other drivers and their attentiveness (or lack thereof). Many of the clients that we here at The Caldarone Law Group, P.A. have helped in the past serve as unfortunate examples of what can happen when motorists do not pay close enough attention to what is happening along the roads on which they are driving. You might wonder why no protection is given to those on the side of the state's roads. 

Actually, there is. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the state does indeed have a "Move Over law." Yet most believe it only requires drivers to yield the right-of-way when they see an emergency vehicle approaching. In fact, the law also requires that when an emergency vehicle is parked along the side of the road, drivers must both move over one lane (provided it is safe to do so) and slow down to a speed that is 20 mph lower than the posted speed limit (in areas where the speed limit is less than 20 mph, drivers should slow their vehicles to 5 mph). 

You may be surprised by who drives the wrong way most often

In 2016, Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that around 2,600 accidents that occurred here in the state resulted from wrong-way drivers, and at least 56 of them involved fatalities. Please note that those numbers only include Florida, not the nation. More people realize their error and quickly turn around, while others don't crash, but do receive traffic tickets for their error.

It may surprise you to know who causes many of these crashes. Here's a hint -- it isn't the elderly, people with medical conditions or even drunk drivers. Instead, young, healthy drivers and unimpaired drivers are the culprits. Now that all of your perceptions about wrong-way accidents have been shattered, let's explore the topic a bit more below.

Is a "breathalyzer" really a breathalyzer?

Were someone to ask you what a breathalyzer was, you would likely immediately assume it to be the hand-held devices that law enforcement officials use to conduct breath tests on the side of the road. This assumption contributes to the confusion on the issue of whether or not you are in your rights to refuse a breath test. In reality, an actual breathalyzer is the machine used to conduct a chemical assessment of the alcohol content of your breath. These are typically found in police stations. What, then, it the device that an officer may ask you to blow into when you are pulled over? 

These are actually referred to as portable breath testers or passive alcohol sensors, and the results they generate are known as preliminary alcohol screenings. Such a test differs from an actual breathalyzer test in that the conditions in which it is given can influence its outcomes. External factors that can influence preliminary alcohol screenings include: 

  • Air temperature 
  • Humidity 
  • Radio frequency interference 

Fighting For Your Rights So You Can Focus On Your Recovery

CLG - The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

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2390 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 216
Naples, FL 34103

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