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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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New York And New Jersey Traffic Violations Blog

Hit a parked car? Here's what you should do

Hitting a parked car is something that no one intends to do but that does happen. Maybe the parking space was smaller than expected or the vehicle wasn't as far away as you thought when it happened. Whatever the reason is, if you hit a parked car, there are some steps you should follow.

If you hit a parked car, you need to stay at the scene no matter what. If you leave, you'll potentially be accused of a hit-and-run crash, which could result in charges. Hit-and-run charges also have the potential to disqualify you from jobs you need to drive for and add up to six points to your license.

Even a first-time DUI can lead to heavy penalties

If you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent of higher, you can be accused of driving under the influence. You can also be accused if the officer believes you are impaired or if there is other evidence in your vehicle.

The first time you violate the law and are convicted of a DUI with a BAC between .08 and .10 percent, you can face a three-month driving suspension, up to 48 hours at an intoxicated driver resource center, up to 30 days in prison and a fine of up to $400. On a first offense where your BAC is over .10 percent, you face fines of up to $500 and up to a year of your license being suspended as well as up to 30 days in prison or jail.

National Motorists Assoc. urges end to ticket quotas nationwide

The National Motorists Association recently sent a letter to Elaine Chao, the current U.S. Secretary of Transportation, seeking two changes in national transportation policy. First, they urged the Trump administration to end its support for traffic ticket quotas. Second, they asked the administration to choose a head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who is ready to "shake up the status quo."

The position of NHTSA administrator has been vacant since the Obama administration's chief resigned on Jan. 20.

Full-stop traffic light prevents pedestrian deaths in New Jersey

Motor vehicle accidents are a reality of life in high-traffic areas, such as cities and major highways. Collisions are often minor and result in nothing more serious than car damage, but there is little more dangerous to pedestrians than to be hit by a car.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Agency reports that more than 5,300 pedestrians were killed in 2015, up about 8 percent from 2014. A small town in New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from New York, suffered a pedestrian fatality and decided to make a change.

Can speeding tickets result in jail time or other penalties?

Speeding tickets are certainly not uncommon. Because of this, many people may not think they're a big deal. The truth is that they can have some serious implications, depending on why you've received a ticket and how fast you were traveling. Besides raising the cost of your insurance policy, a speeding ticket can actually land you in jail.

One of the reasons you could end up in jail is if you were driving recklessly while speeding. Going 20 or 30 mph over the speed limit would be considered reckless driving and willful or wonton disregard for the safety of yourself and others.

License revocations versus suspensions: Know the difference

A suspension and revocation are not the same. In the case of a suspension, you lose the right to drive for a period of time before it is returned to you. Sometimes, the courts require you to pay a fee before the suspended license will be returned to you and your driving privileges restored.

If you're told you're having your license revoked, that's different. It means you're losing the right to drive, having your license taken away and your privilege voided. In that case, to get a new license, you have to reapply for a license at the local Department of Motor Vehicles. You must wait until the revocation period is over. If you don't meet the DMV's standards or have a poor driving record, the DMV can refuse to issue you a license.

Refusing a Breathalzyer in New York can cost you $500

Just because you're able to do something doesn't mean you should. Perhaps, you heard this saying when you were growing up, similar to the if-your-friends-jumped-off-a-cliff statement parents often make. There are many situations in life where you may have a right to do something, but you need to weigh the possible consequences of your choice before deciding what to do.

For instance, if you get pulled over in a traffic stop in New York, and a police officer asks you to step out of your car, you will likely need to make several decisions in the moments that follow.

You can face heavy penalties for driving drunk in New Jersey

If you've been stopped for driving under the influence, you now have a few problems to address. You may have problems getting to work or school, between your family members because of your actions or simply fear the charges you face. Fortunately, your attorney can help you work through this situation and toward the best possible outcome.

Driving under the influence is certainly not the best idea, but mistakes happen. If you're stopped and the police take a Breathalyzer test, it's important that the test is performed accurately. If you burp or have indigestion, for instance, the test may not be accurate.

What is a standardized field sobriety test?

A field sobriety test is used to determine if you're intoxicated. Not all tests are created equal, which is why it's vital that you pay attention to the test being given and the way in which it's given. If it is given incorrectly or produces a number of differing results, the test itself may not be admissible in court.

The Standardized Field Sobriety Test has been used since the 1970s. There are actually three tests performed during the SFST. The three tests include one-leg standing, walk-and-turn and horizontal gaze nystagmus. The three tests combined help police officers determine if you are intoxicated, whether or not it's from alcohol.

Driving without insurance: An extreme risk in New York

No one should ever drive without insurance. Driving without insurance is an incredible risk. If you get into an accident, there's a potential for you to face a lawsuit. If you're stopped by police for another traffic issue, you could face the loss of your license and other penalties.

Part of maintaining your vehicle is keeping car insurance on it. If you do not have insurance, you are required to turn in your registration and license plates before your insurance expires, according to the New York Vehicle and Traffic Code. Your vehicle registration is immediately suspended when your policy lapses, and the insurer does send an electronic notice to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

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