Driving into Fall

Driving Charges

This summer Florida passed several laws effecting drivers. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the new laws Florida Drivers should be aware of:

The “Move Over” Law

One of the new Florida Laws prohibits driving 10 miles under the speed limit while driving on a multi-lane highway. While this may make some zippers and lead-footed people happy, the cruisers will see increased action from law enforcement if they travel in the left lane (or “passing lane”) of traffic and are not traveling with the flow of traffic, or specifically, less than 10 miles per hour under the speed limit. Expect this ticket to run you $60.

86 the TXT & Drive >:|

Commercial and Truck Drivers in Florida take the biggest hit with the new ban on texting while driving. The new law deals only with written communication — i.e., manually sending or reading information using a wireless device, conduct associated with texting, emailing and instant messaging. Unlike regular motorists, commercial can be pulled over for texting while driving as a primary offense – just like speeding or not wearing a seat belt. Truckers and their companies will also be responsible for paying a heftier fine. For initial violations, commercial drivers would pay a $500 fine and their companies a $2,750 fine. For the third violation or more, drivers would have to pay $2,750 and face a 120-day license suspension, while the companies could face up to $11,000 in fines.

In order for a motorist to be ticketed, they have to commit some other type of infraction first before they can be cited for texting while driving as a secondary offense. That fine is $30.  There is currently no ban on cell phone use while driving or using your cell phone’s navigation system.

Right on Red

Florida Legislators have eased up a bit on drivers making a right-turn at an intersection with a red light camera. Even if the driver goes past the stop bar, as long as the vehicle comes to a full and complete stop, that driver will not be ticketed. Do the “California Roll” and you have to pay the $158 fine, but at least you now have 60 days to do so.

Putting Around

Prefer tooling around the neighborhood in speedy golf carts — aka “low-speed vehicles”? Florida has good news – you don’t have to register them anymore, saving money on insurance and registration fees.

To Blow or Not to Blow?

First Time DUI offenders who refuse to provide a breath sample will now get a break – but only if they act quickly. A new law makes it possible to get a hardship license faster when the driver refuses to provide a breath sample. That driver must not have any prior driving-related alcohol or drug suspensions on their license. A driver will simply have to register for the appropriate DUI class and show proof of registration to the DMV within 10 days of the date of their arrest and they will be permitted to obtain a Business Purpose hardship license instead of the 90 day “hard” suspension of their driving privilege. Taking this option means giving up the option for a formal hearing before a DMV Administrative Officer. However, the odds are always very, very slim when it comes to being successful in one of those hearings, so this may be the better way to go. Keep in mind, however, that a refusal can and will be used in a subsequent case and can be charged as a misdemeanor.

For more information about these changes and how they effect your case or traffic citation, call The Colbert Law Firm at (407) 412-7234 and schedule a free consultation.