New Year’s Eve 2019: Free rides and other ways home safely

Austin’s New Year’s Eve 2019 offered free rides and other ways to get home in safety. As we all know, drunken driving at any level is illegal, reprehensible, dangerous, and just plain bad form. That’s a fact the Austin Police Department will bring home for you at all times, but especially on New Year’s Eve, when it’s an unfortunately common occurrence. The department’s “no refusal” period for the holiday ran from 9 p.m. every night through 5 a.m. every morning, ending on New Year’s Day. If you are suspected of driving while intoxicated during the period, officers will have more legal resources for obtaining a blood alcohol sample, even if you refuse to submit one. That’s not to mention the life- and injury-threatening position you put yourself, your passengers, and others in when you attempt to drive while drunk. Fortunately, there are many options—including free or reduced ride-hailing prices and other ways to get to your destination—for Austinites to ring in the new year without all that danger. Here are a few of them. Free public transportation Austin’s Capital Metro extended its MetroRail and MetroRapid service until 2:30 a.m. New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day as well as offering free rides on New Year’s Eve from 5 p.m. until the end of service. MetroBus lines are included in the free fares and operated on their regular weekday-service schedule. Ride-hailing RideAustin (a locally owned, nonprofit business), Lyft, and Uber currently operate in Austin. From 8 a.m., Dec. 31, through 4 a.m., Jan. 1, Lyft riders got $5 off all rides in Texas. “NYEPLAN18” in the Lyft app. The Lyft discount was...

4 laws that are bringing big changes to California in 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  — The new year means big changes for California’s criminal justice system. Several new laws that go into effect in 2019 have an emphasis on criminal and social justice reform. Here’s a look at four new laws that are changing the way things are done in California:   End of Cash Bail California is getting rid of cash bail for suspects awaiting trial. Supporters contend it makes criminal justice fairer for people with little money, but bail agents are seeking a referendum to overturn the new law. “We had to collect 365,000 signatures,” said Topo Padilla, president of the Golden State Bail Agents Association. “We collected 550,000. So, that’s 550,000 voters who signed a piece of paper saying, ‘Yes, let’s put this on the ballot and let us decide,’ rather than 120 legislators down there.” The new law takes effect Oct. 1, 2019. Judges will use a pretrial risk assessment to determine who should be released from jail. In most nonviolent misdemeanor cases, defendants would be out within 12 hours. In other cases, defendants would be scored on the seriousness of crime – and how likely they are to show up for court. The new law means up to 8,000 people working in the bail industry statewide will be out of work, according to Padilla. “This is about public safety” Padilla said. “It’s not solely about saving our jobs. This is truly about public safety and getting rid of a constitutional right that people have.”   DUI Ignition Interlock Devices In 2019, a new California law will impact drivers caught driving while intoxicated. The legislation aims to...

Kona, HI Courthouse Scheduled to Open Late Summer 2019

The Hawaii State Judiciary’s appropriations bill, including $5.8 million to get instrumentation and furnishings for the new Kona courthouse, passed final reading within the Senate and House of Representatives. The bill has been sent to Gov. David IgE for his review and thought. “On behalf of the Hawaii State Judiciary, i would like to precise my deep appreciation to the Hawaii State general assembly for approving the funding required to outfit the new courthouse in Kona with instrumentation and furnishings,” aforesaid judge Mark E. Recktenwald. “We area unit happy to be ready to provide the West Hawaii community a full-service facility they can take care of all court-related matters in an exceedingly centralized, convenient, and secure setting.” The facility is scheduled to open in late summer 2019. The general assembly previously approved a complete of $90 million for construction costswithin the 2014 and 2015 sessions. Groundbreaking for the project was in Gregorian calendar month 2016. “The Judiciary is very grateful to any or all of the island legislators, particularly Rep. Nicole Lowen and subunit. Josh Green, still because the leadership of Senators Donovan Dela Cruz, Gil Keith-Agaran, and Brian Taniguchi, and Senate President Daffo Kouchi, and Representatives Sylvia Luke, Kyle Yamashita, Scott Nishimoto, and Speaker Scott Saiki,” said Chief Justice Recktenwald. “I additionally wish to share my acknowledgment with the West Hawaii Bar Association, the Hawaii County Bar Association, and therefore the Hawaii State Bar Association for their ongoing support,” judge Recktenwald said. “Retired choose Daffo Ibarra, West Hawaii Bar President Payesko, and HSBA Representative from Kona Carol Kitaoka have been critical supporters.”  “After years of conducting court business...

A City with one New Years Drunk Driving Arrest.

Only one drunk driving arrest New Year’s Eve in Jackson County, MS records show. With increased police presence on holidays and multiple ad campaigns warning motorists of the risks of impaired driving, maybe folks are finally getting down to get the message. Only one driver was arrested for a suspected DUI on New Year’s Eve in Jackson County, Mississippi, consistent with the Jackson County Jail log. The driver, a 23-year-old Blackman township man, was i was arrested and booked into the jail at 3:32 a.m., Jan. 1, by the Jackson local police department, records show. Law enforcement throughout Jackson County told MLive/The Jackson Citizen Patriot it was a relatively quiet night. Police throughout the state are cracking down on impaired driving following the national Law enforcement campaign “Drive Sober or Get pulled Over.” The campaign emphasizes the dangers of impaired driving while aiming to drastically reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries on the...