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Collins Law Firm :: Blog

Archive for October, 2022

Halloween 2022 – Booze It & Lose It

Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

With the celebration of Halloween, the holiday season begins.  According to the Highway Safety Program, Halloween is among the most dangerous times a year for traffic accidents.  Halloween parties and trick-or-treat events invite individuals to come out, and the chances for drunk driving and pedestrian accidents increase. 

With the statewide Booze It & Lose It campaign which began on October 24, 2022, and will last through October 31, 2022, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program is aiming to discourage drivers from operating a car after consuming alcohol.   There will be increased law enforcement patrolling our roads, and sobriety checkpoints will be set up.

It is very dangerous to drive distracted or impaired.  But especially on Halloween with excited kids darting out in the middle of the street or simply crossing without looking, all drivers should be vigilant, keep their eyes on the road and be prepared to stop.

If you plan to go out and enjoy alcoholic beverages, please have a designated driver, use a taxi, Uber, or Lyft.  Please make sure not to turn a good time into a tragedy for yourself or others.

Also keep in mind, a charge of driving while impaired can be expensive. People charged with DWI can lose their license and may have to pay thousands of dollars in court fees and increased insurance premiums.

Have a good time this weekend and be safe!

By Jana H. Collins

National School Bus Safety Week – Operation Stop Arm

Tuesday, October 18th, 2022

This week, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol is focusing on their new campaign, “Operation Stop Arm,” in the midst of National School Bus Safety Week. The goal of Operation Stop Arm is to get students to school safer and to raise awareness for school bus safety laws through educational and enforcement measures.

Every day, there are approximately 14,000 school buses traveling North Carolina Highways transporting an average of 795,000 students to and from school. The Highway Patrol believes many accidents involving buses and students can be prevented if drivers are more inclined to just simply pay attention.

In North Carolina, passing a stopped school bus is a Class 1 misdemeanor and if convicted, the driver will receive five points on their driver’s license and a minimum $500 fine. If a driver passes a stopped school bus and strikes a person, it is a Class I felony and a Class H felony if the driver strikes a person and that violation results in death.

Should you or someone you know receive a citation for passing a stopped school bus or another traffic citation in New Hanover, Pender, or Brunswick County, Collins Law Firm can assist you. Give us a call at 910-793-9000 for a free consultation.

By Cheyenne M. Hensley, Legal Assistant

Supreme Court & Social Media Immunity

Monday, October 3rd, 2022

On Monday, October 3rd, 2022, the United States Supreme Court agreed to step into the issue of whether technology companies should have legal immunity over confrontational content posted by its users. The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case alleging that YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, assisted in the aiding and abetting of the murder of an American woman in Paris during the 2015 Islamic State terrorist attacks.

While studying in France, 23-year-old Nohemi Gonzalez was dining in a restaurant when she was killed amidst a wave of terrorist attacks targeting the Bataclan concert hall. Her family is seeking to sue YouTube for allowing ISIS to convey their message using algorithms, which suggests content and videos to users based on their recently viewed content. The plaintiffs do not allege that YouTube played a direct role in Gonzalez’s killing, however, the family’s lawyers claim that YouTube knowingly allowed ISIS to recruit supporters by propagating their message and posting hundreds of radicalizing videos encouraging violence on the platform. Some of those supporters went on to conduct terrorist attacks.

The family of Nohemi Gonzalez filed their lawsuit in 2016 in federal court in northern California with the hope to pursue the claim that YouTube violated the Anti-Terrorism Act. The Anti-Terrorism Act allows individuals to sue people or entities for aiding and abetting terrorist attacks.

In 1996, Congress imposed the Communications Decency Act. A provision, also known as Section 230, was intended to protect free expression on the internet by shielding internet companies from liability for the content posted on their platforms. The law also protects internet companies from liability for removing problematic content that violates their policies.

By Cheyenne M. Hensley, Legal Assistant