Judging Traffic (September 2019)

 

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IN THIS ISSUE:

Issue Brief On Traffic Courts: Past and Future

Follow-Up Article On Florida's DUI/DWI Diversion Programs

News Reports On Marijuana Odor And Probable Cause

Distracted Driving: Prevalence and Motivations

Editor: Bill Raftery

Issue Brief On Traffic Courts: Past and Future

The latest Traffic Resource Center Issue Brief has been released. The document gives an overview of the structure and organization of traffic courts in the past and the possibility of a future in which traffic court becomes a service rather than a particular place or location. The latest brief along with all issue briefs released in the last 5 years can be found on the Issue Briefs website.

Follow-Up Article On Florida's DUI/DWI Diversion Programs

In the January 2016 edition of this newsletter, we examined an article by Judge Karl Grube that examined the Florida DUI/DWI diversion program in the state as of 2015. Judge Grube has now written a follow-up article in the Summer edition of the Stetson Law Review that follows up on his 2015 observations and examines in depth the various programs currently used in Florida. Judge Grabe concludes by noting that while having a single statute-based DUI diversion program would be beneficial that the prospects of such an enactment are "negligible."

News Reports On Marijuana Odor And Probable Cause

As mentioned in the last newsletter a Pennsylvania trial court ruled in August that the smell of marijuana odor in a vehicle alone can no longer provide probable cause to search the vehicle. Several states have had rulings on "plain smell" in light of the legalization of marijuana in their states. This article by PBS News Hour gives an overview of the subject including recent cases in Maryland (Pacheco v. State), Massachusetts (Commonwealth vs. Overmyer), and Colorado (State v. McKnight).

Distracted Driving: Prevalence and Motivations

A study released earlier this year may help shed light on how often people in the U.S. are driving distracted and why. The researchers examined all existing peer-reviewed literature on the subject of distracted driving and compiled a review of the results in the areas of distracted driving crashes, "naturalistic" (where a car is used in real-world conditions and all driving and driver activity is recorded), roadside observation, and self-reported studies (where drivers self-identify as distracted). The relatively short 15-page report gives a broad overview of the research in this area and provides detailed information on why people are opting for distraction.

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