561.671.5995 | 954.272.6187 | www.matthewkoneckypa.com 110 SE 6th Street, Suite 1700, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 4440 PGA Blvd., Suite 204 Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 The Intersection of Technology and the Law
Self-Driving Cars and the Future of DUI Law
Technology is moving fast, and sometimes, laws can lag behind. Take self-driving cars for example: These types of cars are becoming more common, and one good example of this is Tesla’s cars. While you can drive around in a Tesla like any other car, you can buy an option for self-driving. This option lets you tell the car to take over. If you purchase this option, all you have to do once autopilot is enabled is sit in the driver’s seat while it navigates. It can accelerate, brake, and change lanes on its own. Other car companies are testing self-driving technologies right now, too. They aim to take human drivers out of the equation. But as this technology evolves, many people are curious about how these cars will impact society. Will they reduce accidents? Will they reduce auto insurance premiums? Will they reduce traffic jams? Or what about drinking and driving? Can you get a DUI if you’re in a self-driving car? That last question is particularly interesting to many. You’d think that if you weren’t driving, then you’d be off the hook. You could get in the car, tell it to take you home, and that would be the end of it. You could drink to your heart’s content. Florida law disagrees. Surprisingly, yes, you can be charged with a DUI if you drink and get into a self-driving car. The real question is this: How can this be? How can the law consider you to be driving under the influence if you aren’t driving at all?
(a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired.” There is a lot to unpack in that statute. What is “actual physical control?” According to some precedents, it is defined as the defendant being in physical control or having the capability to operate the vehicle regardless of whether they’re actually driving it. Here’s more: If you have a key fob in your pocket that has the ability to remotely start or stop a vehicle, and you’re under the influence, then you could be charged with a DUI. This technology is far less advanced than self-driving car technology, but this goes to show just how much technology is butting heads with the law. If you have the capability to start the car, then law enforcement officers believe you have the capability to get behind the wheel. But let’s come back to self-driving cars. So, you could be in a self- driving car and as long as you have the ability to operate that vehicle — and if you are under the influence — you could get a DUI. It doesn’t matter if the car is navigating itself perfectly. Take, for example, the Tesla Model S, which has a full self-driving capability. This option allows you to sit back while the car navigates on autopilot mode. For it to work, you have to be sitting behind the wheel and have your hands touch the wheel periodically. If you take your hands off the wheel for too long, the car will beep at you. You as the “driver” — the person — may not be doing the actual driving, but you have the capability to do so. This is why the law gets involved in these cases: The driver has some agency, and we all know that alcohol impairs judgment.
To understand this, it’s important to take a look at the Florida statute 316.193 on DUIs, which states that:
“(1) A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment as provided in subsection (2) if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and:
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Make Museums Fun for Your Kids
3 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR VISIT MORE KID-FRIENDLY
School is out for the kiddos, which means that for the next few months, they’ll have six extra hours in the day and no idea what to do with them. Why not set aside some of that time for an educational and fun adventure? International Museum Day comes this month on May 18, making now the perfect time to plan your next visit for when the local museums open their doors again. Your kids might think museums are boring, but we’ve got you covered. Here are some ways to make their next museum visit fun and exciting.
as you can. That will just make your kids (and you) tired and cranky! Instead, pick out a few exhibits that your kids will find interesting, like dinosaurs or electricity, and just visit those. That way, your museum adventure will be a lot more fun and relaxing.
Make the visit interactive.
Just meandering about reading placards all day will leave even the most studious children watching the clock. If you want your kids to enjoy the museum, then you’ve got to make your visit engaging. Try looking at the museum’s exhibits online before going and creating a scavenger hunt for your kids to follow with fun directions, like “Find a painting with two babies making silly faces,” or “Tell me how many pterodactyls you can find in the dinosaur exhibit.” Your kids will be way more engaged in the exhibit, and they might learn something to boot.
Take a food break or visit the gift shop.
Visit exhibits that will interest your kids.
Download these books today ! YOUR LEGAL RESOURCE When it comes to the legal process, If your kids aren’t too excited about visiting a museum, a little incentive to get them to go — like taking them to the museum’s food court or purchasing them a keepsake from the gift shop — never hurts. Even if that’s the only thing they enjoy about the museum, they will still have positive memories associated with their visit.
Whether you’re at your local history museum or the Louvre, don’t try to rush through as many exhibits
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GAS PRICES AND THE HIDDEN CENT
The History Behind the 9/10 of a Cent
We’ve all seen it — the 9/10 tacked on at the end of every gas price. We see it, but we don’t really think about it when we pay for our gas. When you see gas advertised for $2.39 at your favorite spot to fill up, the price is really $2.40. There’s a hidden cent. But why is it there? This fraction of a cent is rooted in American history. In 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act to standardize American currency. As part of the act, fractions of a cent were established. For instance, there was the 1/1,000 of a dollar, which is the equivalent of 1/10 of a cent. This was also called the “mill.” In the early days of America, the mill was a regular part of day-to-day transactions, but it was slowly phased out. It did, however, remain part of various types of utility billing (some electricity companies still use fractions of a cent), tax assessments, and investment stocks.
In 1934, for example, the average price of a gallon of gas was about 16 cents. It was more difficult to raise the price by a cent because people were more sensitive to a one-cent increase at that time. For reference, 16 cents in 1934 is the equivalent of about $3.13 in 2020, when adjusted for inflation. Today, the average cost of a gallon of gas along the I-95 corridor between Miami and Palm Beach Gardens is about $2.49. But unlike in the past, it’s much easier to raise gas prices by a few cents because it makes less of an impact. There’s a psychology to this, as well. In 1934, if you raised the price of gas by 1/10 of a cent, you could market your gas at 16 cents, with the fraction tacked on. At a glance, it looked like nothing had changed. This is the same reason why many items today have prices ending in 99 cents. Most people make buying decisions based on the first number, not what comes after the decimal. Eventually, it became easier for oil companies to raise gas prices and for the federal government to raise taxes on gas as people got accustomed to it. Over time, keeping the 9/10 on gas prices became the norm, and now we’re all used to it, so the hidden cent remains.
In the 1930s, however, the mill became a normal part of gas pricing because of the Revenue Tax Act of 1932, which allowed for a federal excise tax on gas that could be added in fractions of a cent.
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Many other self-driving vehicles function similarly, where you still have to be behind the wheel for the feature to work. The idea behind this is that the human driver can take over if necessary. If there’s an emergency, the driver will be required to take over. If the driver is impaired, this could present a problem. Florida law agrees. This is certainly an area where law enforcement, and the legal system at large, is still trying to understand changing technologies. The technology behind self- driving vehicles is constantly changing and improving. One day some cars will have no steering wheels at all, and courts will have to answer more questions about DUIs. If you’re in a car without a steering wheel, then can you be in physical control? Do you have the capability to operate the vehicle? While you may say no, there might be technology in the car that allows you to take over in an emergency and Florida law might decide that the current DUI laws stand. We’re at an intersection of technology and the law, and we’ll soon find out what’s next.
Cooking With Ashley
SPRINGTIME CACIO E PEPE
Nothing is more comforting than a big bowl of cacio e pepe , which is Italian for cheese and pepper. This dish combines a wholesome flavor profile with fresh, seasonal ingredients to satisfy any craving. Inspired by Eating Well
6 oz multigrain spaghetti
• • • •
1 tsp lemon zest
8 oz fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp black pepper 1 cup baby arugula
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. In a large pot, cook spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of water before draining and put spaghetti in a covered pot to keep warm. 3. Line a 15x10-inch baking pan with foil and toss in asparagus and olive oil. 4. Cook asparagus for 5–7 minutes and sprinkle with lemon zest. 5. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved water, Parmesan cheese, and pepper to the spaghetti. Stir until creamy. 6. Toss in asparagus and arugula before serving.
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The Intersection of Law and Technology
Make Your Museum Visit Fun for the Kids! Hear From Our Clients Why Do Gas Prices Have That Fraction of a Cent? Springtime Cacio e Pepe
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Packing Clothes for Vacation
How to Dress on Vacation
A Guide to Packing Light and Looking Good
Ask any seasoned traveler and they’ll tell you the same thing: Having some spare room in your suitcase never hurts. People tend to shop for new clothes or souvenirs while traveling, and these purchases can take up space fast. However, with longer vacations, it can be difficult to limit how many clothes you’re bringing. How do you keep a smaller wardrobe fresh and comfortable while also looking your best? Try using some of these travel wardrobe tips.
spray like Downy’s Wrinkle Releaser. The spray will eliminate odors and can give your clothes a flat-ironed look. Speaking of clothes, the best outfits are the ones you feel confident in. Consider getting your favorite items tailored and fitted before your trip, and plan multiple outfits that can be reorganized into unique combinations. From classic choices, like jeans, to more unique choices, like print shirts and layered jackets, there are lots of distinct items you can mix and match. Also remember to bring both formal and casual options, just in case you want to dress up for a night out.
Packing light isn’t necessarily about packing less; it’s about addressing your needs in the healthiest, least physically demanding way. For example, your feet contain about 250,000 sweat glands, so clean socks are essential for preventing smelly feet and shoes. Likewise, make sure you have enough undergarments for the
Lastly, accessories can breathe new life into an existing outfit. Scarves, belts, jewelry, bags, and hats can add a pop of color or elegance while taking up less space than another full outfit. Try to bring a few that’ll work well with your other items!
whole trip unless you know you’ll have access to a washing machine. If you do have to wear an article of clothing a second time, use a freshening
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