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California Drunk in Public Laws

California Drunk in Public Laws

California Drunk in Public Laws

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.

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California’s Stand Your Ground Laws

California’s Stand Your Ground Laws

The last thing anyone wants is to be put in a dangerous situation where they need to defend themselves from an attacker. Unfortunately this situation does happen on rare occasions. As if this wasn’t bad enough, there are some states in the US that don’t allow people to defend themselves with any means necessary. This means that in some states, a person who may have killed someone in self-defense, could actually face murder charges.

Due to this fact, a person needs to be aware of their state’s laws when it comes to self-defense, particularly stand your ground laws.

Castle Defense

Here in California, the state does not have a stand your ground law, but it does have a Castle Doctrine. Penal Code (PC) 198.5 allows a person to use deadly force within their own home so long as certain worries arise. As long as all of the following occurs, a person is allowed to use deadly force to protect their home:

  • A person broke into their home.
  • The intruder was not a law enforcement officer doing their job.
  • There was reasonable fear of death or injury for the homeowner or a family member.
  • The occupants of the home didn’t provoke the intruder.

In those instances, a person can do whatever they need to in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm.

Self-Defense While Out

The problem with PC 198.5 is that it only applies when a person is in their own home. It doesn’t give a person the right to defend themselves while out in public. This is where stand your ground laws come into play in other states. These laws grant a person the ability to do what they feel they need to in times of distress in order to protect themselves from an attacker.

California does not have a particular stand your ground law. However, California does recognize that there are times where a person may need to use deadly force in order to defend themselves. California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) 505 and 506 instruct jurors to find defendants innocent of crimes such as homicide or assault if the person acted reasonably under the given circumstances, specifically:

  • The person reasonably believed they were in danger of being hurt or killed.
  • The person reasonably believed they needed to use force to keep themselves safe.
  • The person used only the amount of force necessary to protect themselves.

As long as a person followed the above, they should be found innocent.

In some states, a person needs to run away from a threat before they are legally permitted to use deadly force. That is not the case in California. As long as a person is defending themselves from threat of injury or death, they can do whatever they reasonably feel they need to in order to survive.

Stand Your Ground vs. Castle Defense

While both stand your ground laws and castle defense laws refer to a person defending themselves from an attacker, they are not exactly the same. Stand your ground laws apply wherever a person may be while castle defense only applies when a person is within their own home, or a few select places, such as their car.

No one ever wants to need to defend themselves, but the need can arise in rare instances. If a person ever finds themselves needing to protect themselves in California, they can rest easy knowing that the state will not fault them for doing whatever they felt was necessary to protect themselves during the situation.

What do you think of California’s take on stand your ground laws and castle defense? Should people be allowed to use reasonable, even deadly, force in order to defend themselves from an attacker? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

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Minors Breaking the Law

Minors Breaking the Law

Minors Breaking the Law

Finding out that a child has broken a law is a terrible situation for a parent to deal with. No parent ever wants to answer the front door, or a phone, to learn that their child is in some serious trouble. While rare, this does happen from time to time. As such, a parent should be aware of what happens when a minor has a run in with law enforcement agents.

How the Law Handles Juveniles

When a minor gets in trouble with the law, officers react a little differently. In most cases, minors receive lesser penalties for crimes than an adult would. Still, there are times when a minor could find themselves locked up.

What happens to a minor who broke the law is largely dependent on the crime itself. If the charge is relatively minor, then the child will likely be allowed to go home, or be escorted home. Most of the time, the law prefers that parents take care of the children themselves. However, that is not always an option.

If things are a little more serious, then the minor may be given a summons to appear in court at a later date. If things are real bad, then the minor may be arrested and taken to juvenile hall.

Juvenile Hall

Just because a minor is taken to juvenile hall does not mean that they will be forced to stay there forever. This isn’t the end of the world.

A probation officer will look at the case and decide how to proceed. The officer can do one of the following:

  • Give the minor a citation to appear in court and send him/her home.
  • Place the minor on probation, which allows them to go home and avoid going to court, unless they continue to misbehave.
  • Hold the minor in juvenile hall until a judge can look at the case.

Minors in Court

When dealing with courts, minors go to a separate court that focuses solely on minors. If a child has to go to a hearing in court, they could be going for any of the following reasons:

  • Detention Hearing. This will determine if the child needs to stay in juvenile hall or not.
  • Transfer Hearing. This will determine if the case will stay at this level, or be moved up to an adult court.
  • Adjudication. This is the actual trial held in front of a judge, without a jury.
  • Disposition Hearing. If the juvenile is found guilty, this is where they receive their sentencing.

Despite the fact that these court hearings are for minors, they are still very serious. A person should treat these hearings the exact same way they would any other court appearances. This means a person, especially the minor, should dress appropriately and behave while in the court.

Consequences of Court

The goal of the juvenile delinquency system is to rehabilitate minors and to help mold them into good, well-behaved individuals. As such, judges have a lot of options when it comes to sentencing any minor that is found guilty.

What is likely the best case scenario for a guilty verdict, is probation. This means the minor is able to go home. They just have to be on their best behavior to ensure they don’t receive a worse punishment. Some common probation conditions can include:

  • A curfew.
  • Going to counseling.
  • Going to school.
  • Making restitutions to the victims.
  • Performing community service.

A worst case scenario would be when a judge determines that a child is better off away from their home. The child could become a ward of the state, which is where the state takes responsibility for the child. The minor could be placed into a probation camp, or into California’s Division of Juvenile Justice. Neither of these are great outcomes.

Be a Part of Your Child’s Life

No parent ever wants their child to have to face hardship, and getting into trouble with the law definitely counts as hardship. Luckily, a child has to screw up pretty majorly in order to wind up in juvenile hall. So long as a parent takes an active role in their kid’s life, they should be able to prevent that from ever happening.

When kids have guidance, they are able to make better choices, and therefore are less likely to end up getting into trouble in the first place. That is why parents need to pay attention to their kids. If they don’t, their child could make a bad choice and find him or herself in juvie.

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California’s Seat Belt Laws

California’s Seat Belt Laws

California’s Seat Belt Laws

Every driver has seen a sign telling them and their passengers to buckle their seat belts. Most people don’t need to be reminded to buckle up. They know that wearing their seat belt is the best way to stay safe in the event of an accident. However, there are still some people out there who need to be reminded of that fact.

In an effort to try to keep everyone safe, every state in the union has created laws against driving without a seat belt. Here in California, Vehicle Code (VC) 27315 is the state’s seat belt law. It lists the times when a person needs to wear a seat belt and what kind of consequences a person would face for not wearing the belt.

California Vehicle Code 27315

VC 27315 is more commonly referred to as the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This act was created in an effort to keep motorists safe while driving across California. The act basically states that no person over the age of 16 can ride or drive in a moving vehicle without being properly restrained.

Being properly restrained is defined as having the lower lap portion strapped over the stomach and the upper shoulder portion of the belt being strapped across the front of the chest. Basically, for any vehicle from the year 1996 or newer, passengers have to wear the full seat belt. A person cannot place the shoulder portion of the seat belt behind their back.

Another factor in this law is that all seat belts need to be kept in proper, working order.

Consequences of Not Buckling Up

Breaking VC 27315 is an infraction level offense. This means it does not come with criminal charges or jail time. A person simply faces a small fine for not wearing their seat belt while riding in a moving vehicle.

When a person doesn’t wear their seat belt, they will be the ones to get a ticket, not the driver of the vehicle. Unless the un-belted person is a minor, in which case the driver is responsible for the child’s safety.

For a first time offense, a person faces a $20 base fine.

For any subsequent offenses, a person faces a $50 base fine.

In some instances, a person may be able to avoid a fine if they can take a traffic school course, provided the course teaches about seat belt safety.

Despite the nature of breaking this law, a person will not receive any points on their driver’s license. This helps a person avoid collecting too many points on their license and the increased insurance rates that would come with them.

It is important to remember that all of these consequences are on top of the fact that if a person doesn’t wear a seat belt and winds up in an accident, they are much more likely to receive serious injuries. Seat belts save lives. By not wearing one, a person is risking their own life.

Kids and Seat Belts

It is pretty easy to see how seat belts aren’t exactly designed for children. That is why there are car seats built to keep kids safe at all ages. According to California law:

  • Kids under the age of 2 should be restrained in rear-facing car seats unless the child weighs more than 40 pounds, or is taller than 40 inches.
  • Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat in the back seat.
  • Children 8 and older, or taller than 4 feet, 9 inches, should be in a booster seat, or at least secured by a seat belt.
  • Children 16 and older must wear a seat belt.

Failing to follow these regulations can result in the parent receiving fines, and a point on their driver’s license.

A first time offense comes with a base fine of $100.

Subsequent offenses come with a base fine of $250.

Don’t Ignore the Ticket

With such a small ticket price, some people may feel like ignoring the ticket and its court date. However, that is a terrible idea. By ignoring a ticket and failing to appear in court, a person violates VC 40508. Unlike VC 27315, breaking VC 40508 comes with actual criminal charges.

When a person breaks this law, they can face:

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

Just Wear the Seat Belt

At the end of the day, it is best that everyone just buckle up when they get in a vehicle. Doing so can keep them safe in the event of an accident. Plus, getting caught not wearing a seat belt can earn a person a nice fine, and they will have to appear in court. It is so much easier to just wear the seat belt.

What do you think of California’s take on seat belt laws? Is it too much, or not enough? Should driving without a seat belt earn a person a point on their driver’s license? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

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Peeping Tom Laws in California

Peeping Tom Laws in California

F or those unaware, a peeping tom is typically a man who spies on a woman while she’s changing. What was once a fairly common scene in movies has since died off as people admitted just how creepy the act of peeping is.

The act is so despised that there are laws against peeping and spying on people. Everyone has a right to privacy, especially when a person is in the safety of their own home, or other private areas. That is why the state of California has laws against the act. If a person thinks they want to spy on someone in a private setting, they should think again. This is not a law that a person should be breaking.

California Penal Code 647

Since spying and peeping on someone is such a big deal, because it is an invasion of privacy, many states and even the federal government have enacted laws against the act. In the state of California, spying and peeping is illegal under California Penal Code (PC) 647 i& j.

PC 647 i focuses on the act of peeping while loitering. Under this law, peeping while loitering is considered delaying or lingering on someone else’s private property without reason for being there while peeking into the door or window of an inhabited building. An inhabited building is any structure that a person lives in. If a person does this, then they are guilty of breaking this law.

PC 647 j focuses on invasion of privacy. This part of the law covers a few different acts, such as:

  • Using a telescope or other device to spy on someone.
  • Secretly photographing or recording a person’s body under their clothes for the purpose of sexual gratification.
  • Secretly recording someone in a private room in order to see them in their underwear.

Committing any of these acts is a crime under this law, and can get a person into serious legal trouble.

Penalties of Peeping in California

Breaking PC 647 is seen as form of disorderly conduct, which makes it a misdemeanor offense. This means that a person will face the following consequences for a first time offense:

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

These are the typical penalties for this crime, provided the victim is an adult. However, if the victim of the spying is a minor, anyone under the age of 18, then the consequences are more severe. For subsequent peeping offenses, or for peeping on a minor, the consequences are:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $2,000.

However, despite the nature of the crime, a conviction under PC 647 does not require a person to register as a sex offender.

No One Wants to Be Spied On

No one likes to be spied on especially when they are in their underwear or are naked. Everyone has a right to privacy, especially in their own home, in a restroom, or in a changing room. This is why peeping tom laws have been enacted to try to prevent people from committing the act at all.

Anyone caught breaking these laws will face jail time, and if they continue to break the law after that, the consequences will get worse for the person. Basically, it is never a good idea to spy or peep on someone. Doing so will get a person into trouble.

What do you think about California’s peeping tom laws and their consequences? Are the consequences enough, or should they be harsher? Should peepers be required to register as sex offenders?

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Tagging and Graffiti Laws Here in California

Tagging and Graffiti Laws Here in California

Tagging and graffiti are two things that most people have seen, especially if they live in an urban area. Pretty much every large city in the country is littered with graffiti and other signs of tagging. A lot of times, these random markings can make signs unreadable, and change the look of the city for the worse. That is why most states have laws against graffiti.

California is one such state. California Penal Code (PC) 594 covers all sorts of vandalism, from breaking something to marking it up with paint or markers. While the crimes of graffiti and vandalism may seem minor to some, they are a very big deal to others. This is especially true for anyone stuck having to clean up the mess.

California Penal Code 594

PC 594 here in the state of California outlines every possible crime that could be considered vandalism and the punishments for them all. As far as the law is concerned, vandalism is considered to occur when someone maliciously defaces, damages, or destroys someone else’s property.

Vandalism can be any number of things, from

:

  • Smashing mailboxes.
  • Keying someone’s car.
  • Writing a name in wet cement.
  • Breaking someone’s fine china.

Basically, if someone messes with someone else’s stuff with the express intent of breaking or harming it, then they are guilty of vandalism. In fact, this can even be true if two people own something together, and one of them breaks the item. The other person could charge the first with vandalism in the state of California.

Penalties of Vandalism

As far as the punishments for vandalism go, they are dependent on the amount of damage done, the person’s criminal history, if they have one, and what exactly the person vandalized. For instance, vandalizing a place of worship comes with steeper consequences than simply vandalizing someone’s home.

If the amount of damage done totals less than $400, then the vandalism is a misdemeanor charge. This means that the person faces:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000 unless the person has any prior vandalism charges, in which case the max fine is $5,000.
  • Informal probation.

If the cost of the damage is greater than $400 dollars, the prosecution can charge the crime as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. With misdemeanor vandalism charges in this case, a person faces:

  • Up to one year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000, unless the cost of the damages was higher than $10,000, in which case the max fine would be $50,000.
  • Informal probation

If the cost of damages was over $400 dollars and the crime is being charged as a felony, then the person faces:

  • A jail sentence ranging from 16 months to 3 years.
  • A max fine of $10,000, unless the cost of the damages was higher than $10,000, in which case the max fine would be $50,000.
  • Informal probation.

Consequences of Graffiti in California

Graffiti can be penalized differently in California if the damage done costs less than $250. California PC’s 640.5 and 640.6 only cover the act of graffiti. These offenses come with slightly less harsh consequences, and increase in severity with subsequent offenses.

The first time someone is charged with this crime, they face an infraction level offense:

  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Community service.

The second time someone is charged with this crime, they face a misdemeanor level offense:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $2,000.
  • Community service.

For a third, or any subsequent offense after that, a person will face a misdemeanor level offense:

  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • A max fine of $3,000.
  • Community service.

Don’t Damage Someone Else’s Property

Aside from the state having its own law against graffiti and vandalism as a whole, many cities have their own takes on ordinances regarding graffiti. Some cities have even prohibited minors, anyone under 18, from being in possession of graffiti tools such as cans of spray paint and permanent markers. As such parents may want to be careful with giving their children Sharpies. Some cities take that act very seriously, while others couldn’t care less.

Graffiti and vandalism are not fun to deal with, and they are not fun to look at either. That is why the state of California has laws against both vandalism and graffiti. Any person caught breaking those laws will face the consequences.

What do you think of California’s laws surrounding vandalism and graffiti? Are the consequences too steep, just right, or not harsh enough? Why is that?

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Don’t Get Scammed: Make Sure Your Donations Go Where They Can Actually Help

Don’t Get Scammed: Make Sure Your Donations Go Where They Can Actually Help

Don’t Get Scammed: Make Sure Your Donations Go Where They Can Actually Help

When someone is in trouble, there are always people out there who are willing to offer their assistance. It is one of the great things about people. It is truly amazing to watch people come together to support and aid those in need.

Recent events have shook the nation, and these tragic events have brought kind and caring people out from around the country. All of these great people just want to help those affected by recent tragedies. Unfortunately, while most people want to help, there are a select few out there looking to take advantage of the situation.

Scams Taking Advantage of Compassion

Scammers exists in all sorts of capacities, and most of them are heinous. However, this kind of scam truly takes the cake. This latest scam sweeping the nation comes in a few different forms, but they all boil down to the scammer asking their intended victim to donate money to victims of one of the recent tragedies.

If a person has recently seen an ad on social media or received an email or text asking to donate money to the recent tragedies, don’t answer right away. There is a chance that might be a scammer trying to take advantage of people’s kindness and compassion.

Some red flags to look out for are when the donation groups start contacting a person. Most donations and GoFundMe’s don’t go looking for donators, so chances are they aren’t paying for ad space on Facebook or sending out messages to random individuals. Most legit businesses recognize that doing so is a surefire way to get marked as a scam. Yet, scammers do this regardless because they know some people out there won’t question anything, and just want to help out people in need.

How to Avoid This Scam

The best way to avoid scams like these is for a person to do their research. This means not giving money to the first link or GoFundMe that they see. Anyone can create these kinds of links and donation setups. In order to avoid getting scammed, a person needs to do their research and make sure that the donations will actually get to the intended person. This goes for all donations, not just ones setup for the recent tragedies.

Some sites, like GoFundMe, guarantee that any money donated will get to the intended person, one way or another. This helps make GoFundMe one of the safer donation sites to use.

How to Identify Scams

There are all kinds of scams that con-artists can pull in order to take a person’s hard earned money. The best way to avoid any scam is to learn to look for specific signs because even though scams may vary, they often follow the same few tricks. Some things to look out for include:

  • Check sender email address. Scammers often use very random email address that they have disguised to look like something else. Examining the email address of the sender of the message can quickly reveal if something is a scam or not.
  • Don’t be rushed. Rushing through something leads to a person making mistakes, which is why scammers love to rush their victims. Never be rushed into doing something, especially giving money to someone.
  • Don’t be urged into secrecy.Scammers are aware of how sketchy their scams can sound, which is why they don’t like their victims telling anyone else about their situation. Doing so could easily reveal the scenario for the scam it is.
  • Don’t click links in emails. Never click links in emails unless absolutely certain of who the sender of the message is. If a person needs to visit a website from an email, go to the site directly through their internet browser to guarantee they make it to the right site and not a scam site.
  • Don’t give out personal info. Never give out personal information unless they are 100% certain of who they are giving it to.
  • Don’t wire transfer money.Wired money cannot be traced or returned to the victim, which is why scammers love to use this method of money transfer.
  • Too good to be true.When things seem too good to be true, it is usually because they are.

Don’t Stop Donating

Wanting to help people in need is a very good thing. There are people out there who are in desperate need of help. Any little bit can help them. Often times, just knowing that people are out there, routing for them, can help people find the strength to go on.

Unfortunately there are horrible people out there looking to take advantage of people’s compassion. If a person wants to avoid getting conned, they need to do their research before donating any money. They want to be absolutely sure that the money they are giving away is going to the cause they wish to support and not some con-artist’s pocket.

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Vaping on the Rise in Schools

Vaping on the Rise in Schools

Vaping on the Rise in Schools

Here in the US, recent studies and surveys have found that smoking amongst teens is actually on the decline. Less and less teens are smoking cigarettes, and that’s great. Unfortunately, that is not the only trend that recent studies have found. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 2 million middle and high school students are vaping regularly.

In 2018, the CDC found that 4.9% percent of middle schoolers reported using e-cigs, and 20.8% of high schoolers reported using them as well. This adds up to a lot of students, which means e-cigs are a very big problem amongst minors, but why is that?

How E-Cigs Are Marketed

Many adults and researchers are noticing a shocking trend of how e-cigs are marketed. Their ads most often depict young, “cool” looking people. In addition, the flavors of these devices often seem to be chosen with minors in mind with flavors such as cotton candy and berry punch. Tobacco companies do this because minors, anyone under the age of 25, become more easily addicted to nicotine, and so this age group has been the target audience of tobacco companies for years.

Now, with e-cigs under attack, tobacco companies and smokers alike are rushing to defend the product. Their biggest claim, is that e-cigs are safer than traditional tobacco products. The shocking fact, this is true. With proper guidance from a medical professional, a smoker can use e-cigs to be safer when smoking, and can even use the products to wean themselves off of nicotine altogether.

However, this logic does not apply to minors.

The Dangers of Vaping as a Minor

Minors have less self-control and are more likely to become addicted to nicotine than adults. E-cigs play off that with the hopes of getting younger generations addicted to tobacco to ensure the industry’s survival for a few more years. By becoming addicted to nicotine, teens are more likely to use traditional cigarettes.

Aside from just supplying minors with nicotine, some e-cigs and other vape products can contain marijuana as well.

On top of the obvious side effects that come with using nicotine and marijuana products, there are the unknown side effects of e-cigs. The fact of the matter is that e-cigs are a new type of technology, with many still be studied. Early studies have found that e-cigs can expose a person’s lungs to harmful chemicals, whether they are in the liquids being vaporized or coming from the device itself. These many chemicals have been known to cause cancer. Plus there is the fact that some e-cigs have been known to explode while in use, which is horrible for the person using the device.

Talk to Your Kids

When it comes to talking to kids about e-cigs, the first thing a parent needs to do is educate themselves first. After all, how can a person hope to convince someone to lean one way or another without first having all of the facts? After that, a parent should always be a role model. If they don’t want their child to do something, then they shouldn’t’ do it themselves.

When actually talking to their child, a parent should remain calm and avoid getting angry. If a parent screams and shouts at their child, then the child is less likely to talk to them about anything, especially behavior that they think will get them yelled at. When talking, really listen to the child. When it comes to e-cig use, they may not have all of their facts straight. Some studies have found that many kids believe that some e-cig products, like Juul, are nicotine free when in reality they are not. Sometimes listening to them, and giving them the facts, is all the child needs to change their mind.

After that, help the child learn to recognize and face peer pressure without giving in. Help them come up with good reason to explain why they don’t want to use e-cigs.

While some kids may fight or resist at first, it is important for the parents to talk to their children about this kind of thing. Simply by learning that their parents have a strong negative feeling toward something can convince a kid to stop in time.

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School Zone Ahead: Keep an Eye out for Kids

School Zone Ahead: Keep an Eye out for Kids

School Zone Ahead: Keep an Eye out for Kids

Summer is coming to a close, much to the chagrin of children everywhere. The end of summer means it is time to head back to school for another year. While kids are frustrated by the loss of their freedom, their parents are usually rejoicing. They are no longer in charge of keeping their children safe and entertained. However, back to school does come with a view headaches for parents as well as kids.

Arguably one of the worst parts for parents when it comes to school, is dealing with the traffic. Every day, hundreds of parents are all trying to drop off and pick up their students at the same times every day. This creates a lot of congestion around the school, which creates several headaches for parents.

Tips for Driving through School Zones

Driving through school zones is never a lot of fun for anyone, and aside from just being headache inducing, it can also pose some dangers for the students as well. The last thing anyone wants is for a student, a child, to get hurt on their way to school. That is why everyone driving through a school zone needs to drive carefully, regardless if they are dropping off a student.

In order to ensure that everyone stays safe this school year, here are a few tips for drivers passing through school zones.

  • Nevertext and drive. Texting while driving is very distracting, and several studies have shown that distracted driving is actually more dangerous than drunk driving. This kind of driving should never be done, especially in a school zone.
  • Be aware of hotspots. School traffic doesn’t always stick to just school zones. Many students may walk to school and cross roads at certain areas. Recognize these areas and learn to always expect kids there every school day.
  • Yield for school buses. If a school bus is flashing red lights and displaying a stop sign, all traffic has to stop, including traffic traveling in the opposite direction. The only time traffic doesn’t have to stop if it is on the opposite side of a divided roadway. Failing to stop can earn a driver a $1,000 fine.
  • Expect the unexpected. Kids aren’t always predictable, and don’t always act safely. Drivers should always be on the lookout for kids crossing the street, especially in school zones and around known hotspots.
  • Give yourself extra time. There will always be traffic in and around school early in the morning and afternoon. This is unavoidable. Anyone planning on traveling through those areas should give themselves extra time to get through those areas.

As far as keeping kids safe around school traffic, parents should teach their kids the following:

  • Crosswalksafety. Teach kids to only cross streets at designated crosswalks. This prevents them from crossing where other drivers would not expect to see pedestrians.
  • Wear bike safety equipment. If kids are biking to and from school, they should wear safety equipment. This will keep them safe and protected while biking.
  • Practice school bus safety. Teach children not to run out in front of school buses. Even though traffic should stop when children are boarding, not every drivers does. If a child runs out in front of a stopped school bus, they could get hit by a car.
  • Avoid blind spots. Teach kids to avoid walking in areas with low visibility, as drivers will be more likely to hit them.

Drive Safely Near Schools

As the end of summer draws nearer, everyone is prepping for the start of a new school years. Students are dreading the loss of their freedom, while parents are mentally preparing to face the school traffic once again. Even drivers without students may end up facing the traffic brought on by the new school year.

When driving through school zones, or other known hotspots, drivers need to keep an eye out for kids who may be crossing the street. After all, no one wants to get into an accident, especially one with kids. Luckily, as long as driver remains alert and cautious, there shouldn’t be any problems.

Are you looking forward to the new school year for your kids, or are you dreading the upcoming surge in traffic? Let us know in the comments down below.

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Can Plastic Water Bottles Left in Hot Cars be Dangerous?

Can Plastic Water Bottles Left in Hot Cars be Dangerous?

Can Plastic Water Bottles Left in Hot Cars be Dangerous?

Summer is in full swing and people are doing everything in their power to beat the heat and stay safe. After all, no one wants to suffer from heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. One of the best ways to avoid both of those conditions is for a person to remain hydrated throughout the day.

This is why thousands of people travel with a water bottle in their car. This ensures they have water with them whenever they may begin to feel a bit parched. While some people prefer reusable water bottles, some people would rather buy plastic water bottles. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the dangers that can come with leaving plastic water bottles in the car on a hot day, and it isn’t for the reason one might suspect.

Are Heated Plastic Water Bottles Toxic?

For several years now, people have worried about the health safety of plastic water bottles. In 2007, emails began circulating through people’s inboxes with the claims that leaving water bottles in hot cars would create a chemical reaction within the plastic. This reaction would supposedly cause the plastic to release chemical compounds, BPA and DEHA, into the water.

Neither of those chemicals are very good for human consumption.

Naturally, these emails caused quite a stir and some panic as well. Even though these myths were later debunked by studies performed by the American Cancer Society and the International Bottled Water Association, many people still believe those emails.

There are now questions of whether or not heating plastic water bottles causes them to release phthalates into the water, which would cause other serious health problems for anyone who drank the water. However, there has yet to be any definitive answer in regards to that particular question.

While these chemicals could pose a serious health hazard if leeched into the water, they are not the reason that plastic water bottles should not be left in hot cars.

Can Water Bottles Start Fires?

The reason plastic water bottles shouldn’t be left in cars is far fierier than that. The irony is that plastic water bottles can actually lead to car fires. As impossible as that may seem, it is very true, and a real problem. That is why fire departments all over the country are warning people about the dangers of leaving a plastic water bottle in a hot car.

The problem is that the clear plastic and water work together to create a makeshift magnifying glass. Anyone who ever burned ants as a kid knows how dangerous a magnifying glass can be. If direct sunlight falls onto a plastic water bottle, it can concentrate the sun’s rays on a set point in a car, and, with enough time, cause that point to ignite.

If left unchecked, that fire can quickly and easily consume the entire vehicle.

This means that a person should never leave a plastic water bottle anywhere in a car where it will be exposed to direct sunlight. Doing so could have disastrous results. Better to take the bottle with you, or at the very least, tuck into a secure and covered place where the sun will never find it.

Stay Hydrated This Summer

When the weather heats up like it does every summer, it is important for everyone to remain hydrated. One of the best ways to do that is for a person to keep some water with them at all times. Water bottles are a great way to do that. However, plastic water bottles can, surprisingly, pose a fire hazard.

Why not avoid that potential fire hazard and purchase a reusable water bottle. After all, there are plenty of water bottles out there, and they are better for the environment. Plus, some reusable water bottles are designed to keep water cooler longer, and they really work!

Are you staying hydrated this summer? Tell us how you keep yourself cool and hydrated while you travel this summer. You never know, you might inspire someone to do the same!