Tips for Avoiding Scams Online

Tips for Avoiding Scams Online

Tips for Avoiding Scams Online

Most people just want to go about their lives without a worry. They just want to go to work, earn a living, and have enough money to have some fun. Nowadays, a lot of people prefer to have their fun and spend their money online. For the most part this is a safe thing to do, however there are times when things can become problematic.

Just like there are good people, there are bad people too. There are people out there who would rather take advantage of other people’s hard work rather than earn an honest living themselves. These people will run any scam they can think of if it can benefit them. Anyone looking to avoid getting conned needs to know how to recognize scams when they pop up.

How to Spot Scams

Online scams come in all shapes and sizes, however the goals are ultimately the same: to con someone into giving up something of value. Sometimes the valuable item is money, other times it is personal information. The money is obvious, the personal information allows a crook to steal the victim’s identity. Once they have done that, they can open credit cards and other financial accounts in the victim’s name, spend the money, and leave the victim with the bill.

Obviously, this is the kind of thing that people want to avoid. Unfortunately, since there are so many different scams out there, with new ones springing up every day, it is impossible to know all of them. This means that the best way to avoid a scam is to learn how to identify the warning signs. Some of the signs to look out for include:

  • Always check the website’s address. Before ever putting any personal information into a website, be sure that the address is proceeded by ‘https.’ The ‘s’ is important because it means the site is secure. Most modern browsers also add a padlock symbol in the address bar next to secure sites.
  • Always hang up on robocalls. Report the number that called to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) since these kinds of calls are illegal. Trying to go through the call to get a number removed from the calling list could end up leading to more calls in the future.
  • Always research the company or organization in question. If a person has questions about a certain company and aren’t quite sure if it is legitimate, they should research it. If it is a scam, it will likely have a lot of bad reviews online.
  • Avoid shady links in emails or on social media posts. Scammers like it when people go to their websites, because their sites can let them look into the victim’s computer and gather personal information. They may also have forms to fill out for a service or purchase, but they just use it collect personal information.
  • Contact the company or organization yourself. If a person still has questions about a company, they should contact it manually either through calling the number or messaging the email found on the official website.
  • Don’t blindly trust caller or email ID. Nowadays scammers have the ability to hide their identity and can trick caller ID or email ID into displaying a false name or number.
  • Don’t give into odd payment demands. Scammers like to be paid in ways that make it hard to track the money, such as prepaid cards, gift cards, and money transfers. No honest company or government agency would demand payment with these methods.
  • Don’t pay for things upfront. This is especially true for any kind of prize won. Any legitimate contest would never have someone pay some money or give personal information to claim the prize.

Don’t Fall for It

There may be a lot of scammers out there with thousands of scam, but luckily they all have warning signs that a person can spot, so long as they know what to look for. Plenty of people online have learned how to recognize scams and are now sharing that information with everyone else online.

Have you ever come across a scam, or been a victim of one? Do you have any tips for avoiding scams that didn’t make it on to this list? If so, share your story and the tips below to help others avoid scams in the future.

Is It Legal to Drive With an Animal on Your Lap?

Is It Legal to Drive With an Animal on Your Lap?

Is It Legal to Drive With an Animal on Your Lap?

Pretty much every pet owner out there has a furry companion that they would do everything they can for. Some pet owners love their critters so much that they take them everywhere they go. This seems like a harmless and fun way for a person to spend time with their beloved companion, however it can be dangerous and even illegal in some states.

Laws from Across the Country

Across the nation, different states have different rules about how pets can be transported in cars. This can make driving through different states with a furry companion that much harder. Any driver looking to take their pet somewhere, especially on road trips, needs to be aware of these laws. If they aren’t, they could inadvertently end up in trouble with the law.

Some states, such as Hawaii and Arizona, have specific laws that make it illegal to drive with a pet in the person’s lap or in the driver’s immediate vicinity. Other states such as Maine and Connecticut can use their state’s distracted driving laws against drivers with pets on their lap.

The state of New Jersey takes things a step further. In this state, officers can stop any driver who improperly transports an animal, such as driving with the animal in their lap, and charge the person with animal cruelty. A person found guilty of this can face fines ranging from $250 to $1,000 dollars and can even face up to 6 months of jail time.

California Law

Here in California, the laws surrounding the transportation of animals are surprisingly lax. The state only has one law regarding the transportation of animals in vehicles, and it applies to pick-up trucks.

Vehicle Code (VC) 23117 states that no driver should transport an animal in the back of a vehicle in a space intended for any load unless the space is enclosed or has side and tail racks that are at least 46 inches high, has installed means of preventing the animal from getting out, or the animal is in a cage.

Basically, this means an animal can’t be carried in the bed of a truck unless the sides of the truck are higher than 46 inches, the animal is tied to the bed of the truck, or the animal is in a cage of some sort. This means that as long as an animal is in an enclosed space, such as the interior of the car, they are being transported safely and correctly.

This law does not apply to the transportation of livestock or the transportation of a ranch dog for ranching/farming purposes.

The consequences of breaking this law for the first time come with a fine ranging from $50 to $100. A second or any subsequent offense within a year will earn a person a fine ranging from $75 to $200.

Why These Laws Exist

The important fact to remember is that these laws exist for safety reasons. Transporting the animal safely keeps not only the critter safe, but the driver as well. A pet owner wants to make sure that in the event of an accident, their companion stays safe. This means keeping it safe and secure in the vehicle.

On top of the pet’s safety, there is the driver’s safety to consider as well. Everyone knows how dangerous distracted driving can be. What people may not realize is just how many things can be considered distracted driving besides using cellphones. Having to deal with a pet, especially one that is on the driver’s lap, can be very distracting. If the driver becomes too engrossed in whatever their pet is doing in their car, they could cause an accident.

What do you think of all of these different takes on laws surrounding the transportation of animals? Which state has your favorite law and which one takes things too far? Does California need to update its own animal transportation and distracted driving laws? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Beware of Porch Pirates and Package Theft

Beware of Porch Pirates and Package Theft

Beware of Porch Pirates and Package Theft

One of the nicest benefits of living in today’s modern world is that pretty much anything can be ordered online and delivered to a person’s home. This allows people to buy things they want or need without ever having to leave the house. This ability is very useful. However, as with all good things, there are those people out there that have to ruin it for everybody.

There are always people looking to make a quick and easy buck, and that is exactly what porch pirates are. They take advantage of people’s orders being left out in the open and claim them for themselves. This problem only becomes more prominent as the holiday season draws nearer and people begin ordering more things online.

What Are Porch Pirates?

Porch pirate is a name for anyone who steals a delivered package from somebody’s front porch or yard. More often than not, these kind of thefts are crimes of opportunity. The person just happened to be walking, or even driving, by and they saw the package, or letter then decide in a moment to take it. They have no idea what could be inside, but they want it for themselves.

Of course, there are some people who have turned this kind of behavior into their day job. They will spend their days scouring through neighborhoods looking for unattended packages that are just waiting to be taken. They steal the packages and either keep the contents for themselves or sell them to someone else to make a profit.

Either way, one can easily see why this crime can be so distressing and upsetting for the victim, especially around Christmas time when the package could have been a gift for someone else.

Tips to Avoid Porch Pirates

Everyone wants to avoid falling victim to a porch pirate, especially during the holiday season. Luckily, there are a few different ways to reduce the chances of having a package stolen.

  • Amazon now has a service that allows for delivery inside a home. A person just unlocks their front door with an app on their phone so the delivery person can put the package in a safe place. They also have a similar thing for delivering inside a person’s car.
  • Have a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member who is home during the day get the package off the porch while at work.
  • Have packages delivered to work. If your workplace allows this, your packages will be delivered and watched over until you can pick it up.
  • Make sure someone will be home to answer the door and receive the package. By getting it off the porch, it is far less likely to be stolen.
  • Require a signature for the delivery. This ensures that the package isn’t left alone.
  • Set up a security camera aimed at the porch to help deter thefts in the first place. If a theft does occur, their will at least be video evidence of the culprit and their illegal act.
  • Some delivery companies, such as UPS, allow for customers to leave delivery instructions, such as hiding the package in a shed, instead of leaving it on a front porch.
  • The USPS provides a service called USPS Package Intercept that allows customers to change delivery destinations before the package has been sent out for final delivery.
  • UPS has a service called UPS My Choice that alerts a customer to a delivery the day before and allows them to change the time or location of the delivery for a small fee.
  • UPS, FedEx, and Amazon offer services where packages can be delivered to secure locations such as an office, warehouse, or locker. This way the package is safe until the customer comes to pick it up.

Penalties for Mail Theft

Stealing another person’s mail is illegal under both federal and state law. United States Code (USC) 1708 defines how mail can be stolen, and then lists how states should punish offenders of this crime. In a very long and descriptive way, the law basically states that anyone who knowingly takes someone else’s mail without permission to do so is guilty of mail theft. This law also defines what counts as mail, and includes the following items:

  • Letters.
  • Postcards.
  • Packages.
  • Mail bags.

Here in California, mail theft is a misdemeanor offense under Penal Code (PC) 530.5e. This law makes it so that people who steal mail, such as porch pirates, face the following:

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

This law also makes it so that people can be charged with other laws on top of this one. This means that a person accused of breaking this law could actually face harsher consequences as well.

Don’t Get Pirated This Holiday Season

The holiday season is all about giving, but porch pirates out there are only concerned with taking. Don’t fall victim to them. Follow the tips above to help prevent a porch pirate from walking off with a loved one’s Christmas gift this holiday season.

Have you ever been victimized by a porch pirate? Do you have any tips to avoid porch pirates that aren’t listed above? What about California’s take on mail theft? Are the consequences harsh enough, or does there need to be more of a deterrent against porch piracy? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

5 Commonly Ignored Driving Laws

5 Commonly Ignored Driving Laws

Anyone who has ever driven knows that there are a lot of laws to follow while on the road. With so many different things to pay attention to, it can be hard to follow all of the rules 100% of the time. This is especially true when people witness others breaking certain laws and figure if those people can do it, so can they.

There are dozens of different driving laws that people break every single day. Some of the most common ones include the following:

Speeding over the Limit

This one is obvious. People speed just about everywhere you go, but especially in California. In fact, it is not uncommon to come across sections of highway where the posted limit is 55 mph and yet every driver on the road is doing a minimum of 70 mph. Regardless, driving over the posted speed limit is illegal no matter how many other drivers do it.

Stopping at Stop Signs

Some drivers see stop signs and somehow read them as “slow down a little” instead of “stop.” This in turn leads to numerous accidents. In addition to that, it can lead to a ticket for the driver. Failing to stop at a stop sign is an infraction level offense that comes with a small fine and a point on a driver’s record.

Seatbelts Are Required

For a lot of people, buckling up when they get into a car is automatic. However, some people struggle with the idea of buckling up every single time they are in a vehicle. Being in a moving vehicle without a seatbelt is not only dangerous, but also illegal. This can earn a driver another infraction, and if they are driving a vehicle with someone under the age of 16 unbuckled in the car, they can face a separate citation for that as well.

Distracted Driving Is Dangerous

Everyone is aware that driving while distracted by just about anything, but mainly smart phones, can be incredibly dangerous. Some studies have even found that is more dangerous than driving while intoxicated or drunk. This is likely due to the fact that at least the drunk driver is trying to focus on the road, while the distracted driver is more concerned with sending a text, applying makeup, or eating. Despite this, and the fact that distracted driving is illegal, people do this every day. If a person doesn’t wind up in an accident, they could face a ticket with some small fines.

Hit and Run

Whenever people mess up, they are afraid of the consequences. After all, nobody likes getting into trouble. Unfortunately, sometimes things happen and a person is in an accident. The worst thing they can do is leave the scene of the crime. If they do this, it no longer matters if they were responsible for the accident. They left the scene and could have even left someone injured and dying. That is horrible, which is why it is illegal for a driver to leave the scene of an accident that they were involved in without first administering any needed aid or leaving contact information. The consequences for doing so can vary depending on the severity of the accident.

Keep These Laws in Mind While Driving

There are all sorts of laws that California drivers seem to forget about. Drivers need to remember these rules, not only to avoid an expensive ticket, since even the small fines are often a few hundred dollars, but to avoid ending up in a serious accident. Many of these laws were enacted to help keep people safe while driving. Failing to follow several of these could easily cost a person their life. Nobody wants that.

Are there any other California laws that you see drivers forgetting on a regular basis that are missing from this list?

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Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

October is here, and all anyone can think about is the holiday of Halloween at the end of the month. Kids love getting dressed in fun costumes and trick-or-treating for bags full of candy. Meanwhile, adults enjoy dressing up as well, but they have parties to get to instead of wandering door to door hunting for candy.

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

When it comes to trick-or-treating, a parent’s main priority should be keeping their child safe. This can be a bit tricky as the sun sets and things get dark. In order to ensure that everyone stays safe this Halloween, here are some safety tips to keep in mind while out trick-or-treating:

  • Always make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street in front of them.
  • Always walk in well-lit areas.
  • Don’t eat any candy until home and a parent has inspected it for any tampering.
  • Each child should be carrying a flashlight or glow stick.
  • Face paint is better than wearing masks since masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Make sure costumes are the appropriate size so they are not loose or baggy on the child, creating a tripping hazard.
  • Never cross the street between parked cars. Drivers are less likely to notice pedestrians between cars.
  • Never enter a stranger’s home or car.
  • Only cross streets at corners with traffic signals and/or crosswalks. Always check left and right before crossing.
  • Only walk on sidewalks or paths. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the street facing oncoming traffic.
  • Put electronic devices down when walking, and especially when crossing the street.
  • Put reflective tape and stickers on bags or costumes when possible to increase visibility.

Following these safety tips should help a parent keep their children safe this Halloween.

Tampering with Halloween Candy Is a Crime

Tampering with food products in a way that can harm someone is a crime here in California. Under California Penal Code (PC) 347, it is illegal for a person to tamper or poison food, medicine, and public water supplies.

This crime is a felony offense, and can earn a person a prison stay of one of the following:

  • 2 years.
  • 4 years.
  • 5 years.

If someone is killed suffers great bodily harm from the act, an additional 3 years in prison is added to the sentence.

Basically, no one should be tampering with Halloween candy.

Halloween Safety Tips for Adults

Not every adult has children who are trick-or-treating that they need to worry about. These adults tend to have parties to go to. While they may not be trick-or-treating themselves, they still need to be aware of trick-or-treaters while driving around. A few tips for adults this Halloween would be:

  • Be careful while exiting driveways and alleyways.
  • Be extra wary of kids crossing at intersections.
  • Drive slower in residential neighborhoods.
  • Popular times for trick-or-treating fall between 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm, so be very cautious during those times.
  • Turn headlights on earlier in the evening to increase visibility.
  • Watch for kids while driving, especially kids in dark clothing.
Keep Halloween Safe and Fun

Halloween is supposed to be a fun holiday for children and adults alike. No one wants to ruin the evening with an accident of some kind. That is why everyone, including adults not out trick-or-treating, need to be more cautious this evening. By being more aware, they can avoid harming a trick-or-treater who was just looking to get an excellent score of candy to take home.

Do you have any safety tips for Halloween that might be missing from this list? What do you think of California’s laws about tampering with someone’s food, particularly candy given out at Halloween?

Halloween and DUI’s

Halloween and DUI’s

Halloween and DUI’s

It’s no secret that there will be alcohol at Halloween parties, and most adults will enjoy themselves. This alone isn’t a problem. The real problem arises when people who have been drinking decide that they are going to drive. Drunk driving is always a bad idea. It can get a person into a lot of trouble, and yet people break this law all of the time.

DUI Is Illegal in California

It is illegal to get behind the wheel of vehicle while intoxicated, or high, in the state of California. The reason for this is that being drunk, or high, greatly reduces a person’s mental capacities. They have less control over their body movements and have slower reaction times.

All of this adds up to really bad driving. If something unexpected happens in front of a drunk driver, they will be less likely to react in time to avoid an accident. They also struggle to perform simple tasks such as driving in a straight line. Bottom line, all of this puts people in danger.

Penalties of Driving While Drunk

The penalties for driving while drunk here in California depend on a few different factors. For starters, is this the driver’s first time breaking this law, or have they done this before? Also, was someone injured or even killed due to the driver’s actions. All of this plays a part in how the driver is punished for driving drunk.

For a first time offense, a person faces:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 4 month driver’s license suspension or 6 months with an ignition interlocking device (IID).
  • 3 – 9 months of DUI school.

A second offense comes with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 2 year driver’s license suspension or 1 year with an IID.
  • 18 – 30 months of DUI school.

Third and subsequent offenses come with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 3 year driver’s license suspension or 2 years with an IID.
  • 30 months of DUI school.

If another person is injured due to the driver’s actions, then the driver can face either misdemeanor or felony charges. For a misdemeanor DUI with injury, the penalties are pretty much the same as a first time DUI offense, except the max fine is increased to $5,000. For felony DUI with injuries, the penalties are:

  • 16 months to 16 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $5,000.
  • 1 year of driving with an IID.
  • 18 – 30 months of DUI school.

As one can see, the more often a person drives while drunk, or high, the worse the consequences become.

Don’t Drive While Drunk

Driving while drunk is bad enough on any other day of the year, but becomes extra dangerous on Halloween. On this night, lots of kids are out and about trick-or-treating. This means that a drunk driver is more likely to get into an accident on this night, and that accident is more likely to involve children.

No sane person would want to risk getting into a car accident with children, so why take the chance? That is why anyone planning on drinking this Halloween should also plan a safe ride home. Assign a designated driver (DD) before going to the party, and make sure the DD knows they are the DD. In addition, getting a safe ride home is less than a phone call away nowadays with apps like Uber and Lyft. There is no reason for anyone to drive drunk.

A person can usually also count on a friend or family member to come pick them up too. While the loved one may not enjoy the call, it is arguably better than finding out someone was hurt because they decided to drive drunk rather than bug someone.

Let’s keep this Halloween safe and fun by not driving while drunk or high this year!

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?

California’s Stand Your Ground Laws

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.

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

When it comes to any party or holiday, it is safe to assume that there will be a lot of drinking. Under normal circumstances, drinking is fine. However, some people still think it is okay to consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle. When a person does that, they increase their chances of getting into a very serious accident that could kill someone.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a person is injured in a drunk driving accident every 2 minutes in the US. This number comes from a 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report. On top of that, an estimated 300,000 people drive drunk every single day in the US, and only around 2,800 people are arrested for the crime daily. These numbers have a tendency to go up around holidays that involve heavy partying and drinking.

Drunk Driving and DUI Checkpoints

Driving drunk is illegal in every single state in the US. Alcohol greatly impairs a person’s ability to make decisions and to react in a timely manner. This means it severely reduces a person’s ability to drive. Drunk drivers struggle to drive straight, maintain a proper speed, and react appropriately to sudden changes.

In order to reduce the chances of people causing accidents while driving drunk, many law enforcement agencies setup DUI checkpoints. The hope is that these checkpoints will catch drunk drivers before they cause a deadly accident. While DUI checkpoints may cause some traffic congestion, they are done in an attempt to keep people safe.

DUI checkpoints are always posted in advanced, to give people the ability to avoid them if they want to. The checkpoint is usually setup in an area that will receive a lot of traffic, especially from bars and parties. Cars will pass through, one by one, and officer will speak with the driver of each vehicle. They will ask a few questions, such as:

  • License and registration.
  • Where are you coming from?
  • Where are you going?
  • Have you been drinking?

Once they have asked their questions, so long as they don’t suspect anything, the driver will be allowed to continue on their way. However, if the officer suspects that the driver has been drinking, they will be asked to pull over to the side where another officer will conduct a field sobriety test. If the driver fails that, they will either need to call for someone to come pick them up or sit in a drunk tank until they have sobered up.

Marijuana and DUI

California recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and as such, some people are still fuzzy on what is and isn’t allowed with the drug. One of the big things that isn’t allowed, but most people think is okay, is driving while high. Some people don’t see a problem with it, but it can impair a person as much as alcohol can.

Marijuana can worsen a person’s reaction time, meaning they are less likely to be able to avoid an accident. High drivers also struggle with maintaining a proper speed, and suffer from impaired judgement.

The bottom line? Don’t drive high.

Penalties of DUI

Some people don’t know that DUI stands for driving under the influence. This can mean driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and even certain drug prescriptions. Since DUI can lead to very serious, even fatal accidents, law enforcement agencies take the crime very seriously. A person accused of DUI can face the following consequences for a first time offense:

  • 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 6 month driver’s license suspension.
  • 3 – 9 months of DUI school.

Any following offenses come with harsher penalties, and if someone is severely hurt or killed because of a drunk driver, then that person will face felony charges, which for a first time offense includes:

  • 16 months to 16 years in state prison.
  • Anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 in fines
  • Paying restitutions to the victim.
  • A suspended driver’s license or having an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) installed in their car for one year.
  • 18 to 30 months of DUI school.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive

    A person should never drive when they are drunk or high, and they especially shouldn’t do it around holidays.
    No matter how a person celebrates upcoming holiday, or any other day for that matter, they should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk or high. With today’s technology, there are plenty of ways for a person to get home from taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts. A person can always find a safe way home. There is no excuse for driving drunk.

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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

    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.