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Collins Law Firm :: Blog

Archive for August, 2023

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

Tuesday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023


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.


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.