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Collins Law Firm :: Blog

A New Law in North Carolina – Death by Distribution

October 3rd, 2023

Law enforcement in North Carolina is celebrating a big victory in the fight against the opioid crisis.  Effective December 1, 2023, a new law establishing more severe penalties for offenders who distribute drugs to people who end up dying in the result of the consumption of said drugs.  The punishment is a Class C Felony which carries a maximum of 231 months in prison.

The new North Carolina General Statute (N.C.G.S.) reads as follows:

§ 14-18.4. Death by distribution of certain controlled substances; aggravated death by distribution of certain controlled substances; penalties.

(a) Legislative Intent. – The General Assembly recognizes that deaths due to the opioid epidemic are devastating families and communities across North Carolina. The General Assembly finds that the opioid crisis is overwhelming medical providers engaged in the lawful distribution of controlled substances and is straining prevention and treatment efforts. Therefore, the General Assembly enacts this law to encourage effective intervention by the criminal justice system to hold illegal drug dealers accountable for criminal conduct that results in death.

(b) Death by Distribution of Certain Controlled Substances. – A person is guilty of death by distribution of certain controlled substances if all of the following requirements are met:

(1) The person unlawfully sells at least one certain controlled substance.

(2) The ingestion of the certain controlled substance or substances causes the death of the user.

(3) The commission of the offense in subdivision (1) of this subsection was the proximate cause of the victim’s death.

(4) The person did not act with malice.

(c) Aggravated Death by Distribution of Certain Controlled Substances. – A person is guilty of aggravated death by distribution of certain controlled substances if all of the following requirements are met:

(1) The person unlawfully sells at least one certain controlled substance.

(2) The ingestion of the certain controlled substance or substances causes the death of the user.

(3) The commission of the offense in subdivision (1) of this subsection was the proximate cause of the victim’s death.

(4) The person did not act with malice.

(5) The person has a previous conviction under this section, G.S. 90-95(a)(1), 90-95.1, 90-95.4, 90-95.6, or trafficking in violation of G.S. 90-95(h), or a prior conviction in any federal or state court in the United States that is substantially similar to an offense listed, within seven years of the date of the offense. In calculating the seven-year period under this subdivision, any period of time during which the person was incarcerated in a local, state, or federal detention center, jail, or prison shall be excluded.

(d) Certain Controlled Substance. – For the purposes of this section, the term “certain controlled substance” includes any opium, opiate, or opioid; any synthetic or natural salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of opium, opiate, or opioid; cocaine or any other substance described in G.S. 90-90(1)(d); methamphetamine; a depressant described in G.S. 90-92(a)(1); or a mixture of one or more of these substances.

(e) Lesser Included Offense. – Death by distribution of certain controlled substances constitutes a lesser included offense of aggravated death by distribution of certain controlled substances in violation of this section.

(f) Samaritan Protection. – Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict or interfere with the rights and immunities provided under G.S. 90-96.2.

(g) Lawful Distribution. – This section shall not apply to any of the following:

(1) Issuing a valid prescription for a controlled substance for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of professional practice.

(2) Dispensing, delivering, or administering a controlled substance pursuant to a prescription, by a pharmacy permitted under G.S. 90-85.21, a pharmacist, or an individual practitioner.

(h) Penalties. – Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, the following classifications apply to the offenses set forth in this section:

(1) Death by distribution of certain controlled substances is a Class C felony.

(2) Aggravated death by distribution of certain controlled substances is a Class B2 felony.

This new statute specifically refers to the Good Samaritan law, N.C.G.S. 90-96.2 (b) , which state as follows:

(b) Limited Immunity for Samaritan. – A person shall not be prosecuted for any of the offenses listed in subsection (c3) of this section if all of the following requirements and conditions are met:

(1) The person sought medical assistance for an individual experiencing a drug-related overdose by contacting the 911 system, a law enforcement officer, or emergency medical services personnel.

(2) The person acted in good faith when seeking medical assistance, upon a reasonable belief that he or she was the first to call for assistance.

(3) The person provided his or her own name to the 911 system or to a law enforcement officer upon arrival.

(4) The person did not seek the medical assistance during the course of the execution of an arrest warrant, search warrant, or other lawful search.

(5) The evidence for prosecution of the offenses listed in subsection (c3) of this section was obtained as a result of the person seeking medical assistance for the drug-related overdose.

Ben David, District Attorney for New Hanover and Pender County, commented about this new law as follows: “For the people who are peddling poison for profit, this sends a strong message that we are going to put you in prison for much longer for the sale of these substances and if your customers are dying from it, you’re going to prison for murder.”

By Jana H. Collins

Leaves Changing in North Carolina

October 2nd, 2023

As the summer heat gradually gives way to cooler temperatures, nature puts on a magnificent display in North Carolina. The state’s diverse landscapes, from the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains to the serene coastal plains, provide the perfect canvas for a mesmerizing show of colors during the fall season. In this blog, we’ll explore the beauty of leaves changing in North Carolina and discover some of the best places to witness this spectacular transformation.

Before we delve into the best spots to witness the fall foliage in North Carolina, let’s briefly understand the science behind this mesmerizing transformation. The process of leaves changing color, known as senescence, is triggered by several factors, including decreasing daylight hours and cooler temperatures. As the days grow shorter and temperatures drop, chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for photosynthesis, breaks down and reveals other pigments within the leaves. These pigments, such as carotenoids (responsible for yellow and orange colors) and anthocyanins (responsible for red and purple hues), create the vibrant tapestry of fall foliage.

North Carolina’s fall foliage typically reaches its peak between late September and early November. The exact timing varies depending on the region, with the mountains in the western part of the state typically experiencing the color change earlier than the coastal plains in the east. To make the most of your visit, it’s essential to plan your trip during this window of opportunity.

Best Places to Witness the Transformation:

  1. Blue Ridge Parkway: Often referred to as “America’s Favorite Drive,” the Blue Ridge Parkway offers some of the most breathtaking fall foliage views in North Carolina. As you wind your way along this scenic highway, you’ll be treated to sweeping vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains adorned with brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow. Popular stops along the way include Craggy Gardens and Linville Falls.
  2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: North Carolina shares the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Tennessee, and it’s a prime location for fall foliage enthusiasts. The park’s diverse elevations create a stunning range of colors, with sugar maples and red maples dominating the scenery. Clingmans Dome and Newfound Gap are excellent spots to capture the beauty of this national treasure.
  3. Pisgah National Forest: Located in the western part of the state, Pisgah National Forest boasts lush forests and pristine waterfalls, making it a fantastic destination for leaf-peeping. Don’t miss the chance to explore Looking Glass Falls and take a hike along the Art Loeb Trail for an up-close view of the changing leaves.
  4. Biltmore Estate: The Biltmore Estate in Asheville is a year-round destination, but it takes on a special charm during the fall. The beautifully landscaped gardens and acres of forested land around the estate burst into a kaleidoscope of colors. You can enjoy the scenery while touring the historic mansion or strolling through the gardens.
  5. Umstead State Park: For those in the Triangle area, William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh offers a convenient escape into nature. The park’s mixed hardwood forests create a stunning display of fall foliage. Hike or bike through the park’s numerous trails and relish the serenity of the changing leaves.

North Carolina’s fall foliage is a natural wonder that captivates locals and visitors alike. From the lofty heights of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the tranquil beauty of Umstead State Park, the state offers a diverse range of experiences for leaf enthusiasts. So, grab your camera, hit the road, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking transformation of leaves in North Carolina. It’s a seasonal spectacle you won’t want to miss.

Southeastern NC Law Enforcement Ramps Up Patrols for Labor Day Weekend & ‘Booze It & Lose It’ Campaign

September 1st, 2023

As Labor Day weekend approaches, people all over the United States are gearing up for a well-deserved break filled with barbecues, beach trips, and family gatherings. However, amidst the festivities and celebrations, safety remains a top priority. In southeastern North Carolina, law enforcement agencies are taking proactive steps to ensure that this long weekend is enjoyable for everyone. This year, they are not only increasing patrols but also launching the ‘Booze It & Lose It’ campaign to combat drunk driving and enhance overall road safety. In this blog, we’ll explore the significance of these efforts and their potential impact on the community.

Labor Day is more than just a day off work, it is a time for relaxation and bonding with loved ones. In southeastern North Carolina, this often involves trips to the beautiful coastal areas, picnics at parks, and enjoying local events. It’s a time when the community comes together to celebrate the end of summer, but it also means more people on the roads. With increased traffic comes a higher risk of accidents, which is why local law enforcement agencies are taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of residents and visitors.

One of the primary measures taken by law enforcement agencies in southeastern NC is the deployment of additional officers during the Labor Day weekend. These officers are tasked with various responsibilities, including monitoring traffic, responding to emergencies, and conducting sobriety checkpoints. The heightened police presence serves as a deterrent to reckless driving behavior, and it helps ensure a rapid response in case of accidents or other emergencies.

In addition to increased patrols, the ‘Booze It & Lose It’ campaign is a key initiative aimed at curbing drunk driving during Labor Day weekend. This campaign, which is part of a broader nationwide effort, focuses on raising awareness about the dangers of impaired driving and enforcing strict penalties for those who choose to drive under the influence.

Key elements of the campaign include:

  1. Sobriety Checkpoints: Law enforcement sets up checkpoints throughout the region to check for impaired drivers. These checkpoints are strategically placed to catch individuals who might otherwise go unnoticed.
  2. Education and Outreach: Local law enforcement collaborates with community organizations to promote responsible drinking. Educational initiatives often include social media campaigns, pamphlets, and community events.
  3. Zero Tolerance: Southeastern NC law enforcement agencies are committed to a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving during Labor Day weekend. Anyone caught driving under the influence will face severe consequences, including license suspension and potential legal charges.

The efforts to increase patrols and promote the ‘Booze It & Lose It’ campaign are expected to have a positive impact on southeastern North Carolina during Labor Day weekend. The increased presence of law enforcement will deter risky behaviors, reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road, and ultimately lead to safer streets for everyone.

Moreover, campaigns like ‘Booze It & Lose It’ play a crucial role in fostering a culture of responsible drinking. By raising awareness about the dangers of impaired driving, these initiatives help change attitudes and save lives.

Should you or someone you know receive a traffic ticket or any other criminal charge or, God forbid, sustain serious personal injuries as result of someone elses negligence, please call us at Collins Law Firm at 910-793-9000 for a confidential consultation about what we can do to help you.

By Jana H. Collins

Navigating the Night: Rushing, Underage Drinking, and the Good Samaritan Law

August 29th, 2023

The transition to adulthood often comes with a rush of newfound freedoms and opportunities. For many young individuals, this includes the allure of parties, social gatherings, and yes, sometimes even underage drinking. As young adults venture into these uncharted waters, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and legal implications that may arise. One such safeguard is the Good Samaritan Law, a legal principle that seeks to strike a balance between ensuring safety and encouraging responsible behavior.

The allure of the college experience often involves joining fraternities, sororities, or other social clubs, an exciting process known as “rushing.” It’s a time of bonding, forming friendships, and creating lasting memories. However, the rush to fit in and establish connections can sometimes lead to questionable decisions, including engaging in underage drinking. The pressure to conform and be part of the group can overshadow the potential consequences of such actions.

Underage drinking is a prevalent issue, one that arises from a mix of curiosity, peer pressure, and a desire to rebel. Young adults may feel invincible, believing that nothing bad will happen to them. However, the truth is that underage drinking can have serious health, legal, and social consequences. From alcohol poisoning and accidents to academic and legal repercussions, the risks are very real.

In the midst of these youthful escapades, the Good Samaritan Law stands as a beacon of protection. This legal principle varies by jurisdiction, but its essence remains consistent: It encourages individuals to seek help for those in need without fear of legal repercussions. This is particularly relevant in situations where underage drinking is involved, and medical attention becomes necessary.

The Good Samaritan Law acknowledges that the priority should be saving lives rather than punishing individuals for being in difficult situations. If someone calls for medical assistance due to alcohol-related issues, both the person seeking help and the person in distress are often granted immunity from certain legal consequences. This encourages responsible decision-making and can ultimately save lives.

While the Good Samaritan Law provides a safety net, it’s vital to remember that prevention is the best approach. Education and open conversations about the dangers of underage drinking can empower young adults to make responsible choices. Building a support network that prioritizes well-being over peer pressure can go a long way in curbing risky behaviors. The Good Samaritan Law serves as a reminder that looking out for one another’s safety should always be a priority, even in the midst of youthful exuberance. By fostering a culture of responsibility, understanding, and compassion, we can ensure that the rush of these experiences doesn’t overshadow the importance of safeguarding our well-being and that of those around us.

By Jana H. Collins

School Bus Safety in Eastern North Carolina

August 23rd, 2023
Illustration of school kids riding yelliw schoolbus transportation education. Student child isolated school bus safety stop drive vector. Travel automobile school bus public trip childhood truck.

For many North Carolina children to the 2023-2024 school year will begin next week.  A large percentage of students will be riding a school bus to and from school. It is extremely important for drivers to be cautious, aware, and patient on the road, especially around crosswalks, schools, and buses at this time of the year.

By law, drivers are required to stop when a school bus is loading or unloading passengers.  However, our children also need to be cautious and look both ways when getting on or off of the school bus, just in case a driver does not stop for the stopped bus for any reason.

The safety of our children is a collaborative effort, involving not only the school districts and bus drivers but also parents, students, and the broader community. Eastern North Carolina fosters this collaboration through educational programs that teach students the importance of proper behavior while on the bus, such as staying seated, using seat belts, and respecting the driver’s authority. Parental involvement in reinforcing these lessons further strengthens the safety net around the school bus experience.

Consequences for motorists who fail to comply with school bus safety rules:

$500.00 penalty and five-point penalty to your driver’s license if you pass a stopped school bus.

Minimum fine of $1,000.00 and a Class I felony if you pass a stopped school bus and strike someone.

Fine of $2,500.00 and a Class H felony if someone is killed.

If you or somebody you know receives a citation for not complying with school bus safety rules or face any other kind of traffic or criminal charges in our area, Collins Law Firm can help. Please give us a call at 910-793-9000 for a confidential consultation.

By Jana H. Collins

Ensuring Safety and Security: Law Enforcement’s Role in the Back-to-School Season

August 22nd, 2023

Introduction

As summer draws to a close and the back-to-school season approaches, ensuring the safety and security of students, educators, and school staff becomes paramount. In this transitional period, law enforcement agencies play a crucial role in creating a safe environment that promotes effective learning and a sense of well-being within educational institutions. This article delves into the significance of law enforcement’s involvement in back-to-school safety and highlights strategies and initiatives aimed at fostering a secure learning environment.

Creating Safe School Zones

The transition back to school involves an influx of pedestrian and vehicular traffic around educational campuses. Law enforcement agencies collaborate with schools to implement measures that enhance safety during drop-off and pick-up times. These measures often include designated crosswalks, speed limit enforcement, and the presence of officers to ensure compliance with traffic regulations.

Engaging in Safety Education

Law enforcement officers actively participate in safety education programs that emphasize the importance of following traffic rules and practicing vigilance in school zones. These programs may involve workshops, seminars, and outreach events aimed at both students and parents. By imparting knowledge about safe pedestrian behavior, responsible driving, and the dangers of distracted driving, law enforcement helps create a culture of safety in the community.

Emergency Response Planning

Schools and law enforcement collaborate to develop comprehensive emergency response plans that address various scenarios, including natural disasters, medical emergencies, and potential security threats. Regular drills and exercises are conducted to ensure that all stakeholders are well-prepared to respond effectively in crisis situations. The partnership between law enforcement and schools extends to fostering effective communication between school officials and first responders.

Preventing Bullying and Cybersecurity Concerns

Safety in the digital age also encompasses addressing cyberbullying and online threats. Law enforcement agencies often work closely with schools to educate students about responsible online behavior, the dangers of cyberbullying, and the importance of reporting any concerning activities. By promoting digital literacy and creating a supportive environment, law enforcement contributes to preventing incidents of cyberbullying and fostering a positive online culture.

Mental Health and Support

The back-to-school season can be stressful for students, and law enforcement agencies recognize the significance of mental health support. Many departments are trained to recognize signs of distress and mental health issues in students. They collaborate with schools to provide resources and access to counseling services, helping to create a nurturing environment that promotes both physical and mental well-being.

Community Policing and Resource Allocation

Law enforcement agencies engage in community policing strategies that facilitate positive interactions between officers and students. These efforts aim to build trust and establish officers as approachable figures who can provide guidance and support. Such relationships are essential for early intervention in potential issues and for creating an atmosphere of safety and cooperation.

Conclusion

The collaboration between law enforcement agencies and educational institutions plays a vital role in ensuring a safe and secure back-to-school season. By focusing on various aspects of safety, including traffic management, emergency response, cybersecurity, mental health, and community engagement, law enforcement contributes significantly to fostering an environment conducive to learning and personal growth. As students embark on their academic journeys, the dedication of law enforcement to their well-being remains a cornerstone of a thriving educational experience.

By David B. Collins, Jr.

Attorneys and Conflicts of Interest

July 17th, 2023

A. Dual Representation:

One of the most common scenarios presenting a conflict of interest which precludes an attorney from representing a client is when a conflict arises due to dual representation. Dual representation occurs when an attorney attempts to represent two clients with conflicting interests in the same legal matter. For instance, a conflict arises if an attorney represents both the plaintiff and defendant in a lawsuit, as their duty to advocate for one client may compromise their responsibilities to the other.

B. Prior Representation:

Attorneys may face conflicts of interest if they have previously represented a client in a matter that is substantially related to the current case. This can lead to a situation where the attorney’s access to confidential information from the prior representation might hinder their ability to zealously represent the new client. In such cases, the attorney may be precluded from representing the opposing party to avoid divulging confidential information.

C. Personal or Financial Interests:

An attorney’s personal or financial interests can create significant conflicts, precluding them from representing a client. For instance, if an attorney has a substantial financial stake in the outcome of a case or is related to one of the parties involved, it could compromise their objectivity and impair their ability to provide unbiased counsel.

D. Business Relationships:

Attorneys must be cautious not to represent clients if they have a business relationship with the opposing party or if they are in a position of influence over them. Such relationships could raise questions about the attorney’s independence and loyalty, potentially undermining the client’s trust.

III. Addressing and Avoiding Conflicts of Interest:

To address and avoid conflicts of interest, attorneys often perform comprehensive conflict checks before taking on new clients or cases. This process involves reviewing existing and past client relationships, evaluating any potential conflicts, and determining the appropriateness of representation. If a conflict is identified, attorneys must take appropriate measures to avoid preclusion from representation, which may include the following:

A. Informed Consent:

In some instances, an attorney can represent a client despite a potential conflict if they obtain the informed consent of all affected parties. Informed consent involves disclosing the nature of the conflict and the potential risks to the client, who then provides explicit permission for the attorney to proceed with representation.

B. Refusing Representation:

If a conflict of interest cannot be adequately addressed, the attorney may be required to decline representation. While this may be disappointing for the client, it is essential to maintain ethical standards and prevent harm to both parties involved.

C. Disqualification:

In cases where an attorney becomes aware of a conflict of interest after already representing a client, they may be disqualified from continuing the representation. In such situations, the attorney may need to withdraw from the case to avoid further ethical violations.

Conclusion:

Conflict of interest is a vital aspect of legal ethics that attorneys must navigate diligently. By understanding the different scenarios that can lead to conflicts and taking proactive measures to address and avoid them, attorneys can uphold their professional responsibilities and ensure that their clients receive loyal, unbiased, and ethical representation. Maintaining high ethical standards is not only crucial for the legal profession’s integrity but also for building and preserving clients’ trust in the legal system.

By Zachary Canter, Legal Assistant

Why the law keeps changing

July 11th, 2023

There are many reasons why the law keeps changing. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Social change. As society changes, so too do the laws that govern it. For example, laws around same-sex marriage and abortion have changed in recent years to reflect changing social attitudes.
  • Technological change. New technologies can create new legal challenges that require new laws to address. For example, the rise of the internet has led to new laws around copyright, privacy, and cybercrime.
  • Economic change. Changes in the economy can also lead to changes in the law. For example, the financial crisis of 2008 led to new laws around banking and finance.
  • Political change. Changes in the political landscape can also lead to changes in the law. For example, a new government may come to power with a different set of priorities, which can lead to new laws being passed.
  • Judicial decisions. The courts can also play a role in changing the law. For example, a court decision can interpret a law in a new way, or it can strike down a law as unconstitutional.

In short, the law is constantly evolving to reflect the changing needs and values of society. This is why it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest legal developments, so that you can understand your rights and responsibilities.

Here are some additional specific examples of how the law has changed in response to social, technological, and economic change:

  • In the 1960s, the law was changed to allow same-sex couples to marry in some jurisdictions.
  • In the 1990s, the law was changed to make it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities in employment and housing.
  • In the 2000s, the law was changed to regulate the internet and protect consumers from online fraud.

These are just a few examples of how the law has changed over time. As society continues to evolve, so too will the law. It is important to stay informed about these changes so that you can understand your rights and responsibilities.

By David B. Collins, Jr.

4th of July Weekend & Public Safety

June 30th, 2023

The Fourth of July weekend is a time of celebration and joy in the United States, as citizens
come together to commemorate their nation’s independence. However, amidst the festivities, it is
crucial to acknowledge the role played by police officers in maintaining law and order during
this time. Police departments across the country adopt a strict approach to ensure public safety,
handling increased traffic, crowd management, and enforcing regulations related to fireworks
and alcohol consumption.


Maintaining Public Safety:
The primary responsibility of police officers is to uphold public safety, and this duty becomes
even more critical during holidays with heightened celebrations like the Fourth of July. The
influx of people attending parades, firework displays, and outdoor gatherings necessitates
increased police presence to prevent potential disruptions, control unruly behavior, and respond
to emergencies promptly. By being present and vigilant, police officers deter criminal activity,
promote a sense of security, and ensure that citizens can enjoy the festivities without fear.


Traffic Management:
The Fourth of July weekend witnesses a surge in vehicular traffic as families and friends embark
on road trips and outings. The increased traffic volume poses a significant challenge, requiring
police officers to take on the responsibility of managing and regulating traffic flow. By directing
traffic, enforcing speed limits, and monitoring impaired driving, officers strive to minimize
accidents, maintain smooth traffic patterns, and protect the lives of motorists and pedestrians
alike. Their presence on the roads during this period is essential to prevent accidents and provide
timely assistance if incidents occur.


Crowd Control:
Public celebrations on the Fourth of July often draw large crowds, congregating in parks, public
spaces, and event venues. Police officers play a crucial role in ensuring crowd control to prevent
any potential disorderly conduct or conflicts that could jeopardize public safety. They are trained
in crowd management techniques, including maintaining order, diffusing tense situations, and
facilitating the smooth movement of people. The presence of police officers in such gatherings
acts as a deterrent to any disruptive behavior, allowing individuals to celebrate responsibly and
peacefully.


Regulation Enforcement:
Fireworks and alcohol are often integral components of Fourth of July celebrations. However,
the misuse and improper handling of these substances can lead to accidents, injuries, and
property damage. Police officers are entrusted with enforcing regulations related to fireworks
displays, including licensing requirements, safety guidelines, and time restrictions. By
monitoring the sale, possession, and use of fireworks, officers seek to prevent accidents and
protect the well-being of the public.


Additionally, the consumption of alcohol during celebrations increases the risk of impaired
driving, public disturbances, and altercations. Police officers conduct sobriety checkpoints and
enforce laws related to driving under the influence to ensure road safety and reduce the potential
for accidents. By enforcing regulations on alcohol consumption and conducting preventative
measures, police officers strive to create a safer environment for everyone during the holiday.
During the Fourth of July weekend, police officers demonstrate strict vigilance to maintain
public safety, manage traffic, control crowds, and enforce regulations. Their presence and
proactive efforts contribute to the smooth conduct of celebrations and safeguard the well-being
of citizens. By upholding the principles of law and order, police officers enable individuals to
celebrate their nation’s independence in a secure and peaceful environment. As we appreciate the
festivities and come together as a community, let us acknowledge and respect the dedication of
these officers who work tirelessly to ensure a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July for all.


Should you or someone you know receive a traffic ticket or any other criminal charge in New
Hanover (Wilmington), Pender (Burgaw), or Brunswick (Bolivia) Counties, call Collins Law
Firm at 910-793-9000 for a confidential consultation about what we can do to help you.

By Bryanna Gordan, Legal Assistant

Memorial Day “Click It or Ticket” Campaign: Promoting Road Safety and Saving Lives

May 24th, 2023

Memorial Day is a significant occasion in North Carolina, as it not only serves as a time to honor and remember the sacrifices of our military heroes but also marks the beginning of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign. This statewide initiative aims to raise awareness about the importance of seat belt usage and enforce strict seat belt laws. The “Click It or Ticket” campaign plays a crucial role in promoting road safety, reducing fatalities and injuries, and creating a culture of responsible driving in North Carolina.

The Importance of Seat Belt Usage:

Seat belts are one of the most effective safety devices in vehicles, proven to save lives and prevent severe injuries in the event of a crash. Studies have consistently shown that wearing seat belts significantly reduces the risk of fatalities and serious injuries. The “Click It or Ticket” campaign emphasizes the importance of using seat belts for all occupants, regardless of their seating position.

Raising Awareness:

The “Click It or Ticket” campaign utilizes various strategies to raise awareness about seat belt usage. Public service announcements, educational programs in schools, and media campaigns play a vital role in disseminating information and encouraging individuals to buckle up. By highlighting the consequences of not wearing seat belts, the campaign underscores the need for responsible behavior on the road.

Strict Enforcement and Penalties:

The campaign combines education with enforcement by employing law enforcement agencies to conduct targeted seat belt checks and patrols. Officers actively enforce seat belt laws and issue citations to drivers and passengers who fail to comply. The imposition of fines and penalties acts as a deterrent and encourages individuals to adopt safe habits. By strictly enforcing seat belt laws, the campaign aims to create a culture of compliance and responsibility.

Collaborative Efforts:

The success of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign relies on collaboration among various stakeholders. State and local government agencies, law enforcement, community organizations, and media outlets join forces to promote the campaign’s objectives. Partnerships are forged to maximize outreach, allocate resources effectively, and engage the public in road safety initiatives. By working together, these entities create a unified front to address the issue of seat belt non-compliance.

Positive Impact on Road Safety:

The “Click It or Ticket” campaign has demonstrated significant positive impacts on road safety in North Carolina. By consistently reinforcing seat belt usage and enforcing compliance, the initiative has contributed to a reduction in traffic fatalities and injuries. According to statistics, states with primary seat belt laws, such as North Carolina, have higher seat belt usage rates and lower fatality rates compared to states without such laws. This highlights the effectiveness of the campaign in promoting safer driving practices.

The North Carolina Memorial Day “Click It or Ticket” campaign serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of seat belt usage and responsible driving. Through comprehensive awareness programs, strict enforcement, and collaborative efforts, the campaign aims to instill a culture of seat belt compliance, ultimately saving lives and reducing injuries on the road. As we honor our fallen heroes during Memorial Day, let us also honor their memory by prioritizing safety and protecting one another through the simple act of buckling up.

Increased law enforcement efforts will also be focused on all types of traffic violations including speeding, DWI, driving while license revoked, and other infractions such as running red lights or stop signs.

Should you or someone you know receive a traffic ticket or any other criminal charge in New Hanover (Wilmington), Pender (Burgaw), or Brunswick (Bolivia) Counties, call Collins Law Firm at 910-793-9000 for a confidential consultation about what we can do to help you.

By Bryanna Gordon, Legal Assistant