DominickRusso, P.A.

2641 Airport Road South, Suite A108, Naples, Florida 34112 ♦ (239) 774-2500

Criminal law and popular culture

I was watching an episode of Adam-12 from 1974, (Season Six, Episode 17). Reed was on light duty working the phones. A call came in from a woman calling about threat's from her husband. The call was dismissed as a lover's quarrel. Today such incidents are referred to as domestic violence, and the way law enforcement deals with such call is very different too. Today, when a 911 call is made, law enforcement arrives and Florida law states that the primary aggressor shall be determined (the person who started the physical fight), and the preferred response is arrest of that person. Also today, law enforcement would probably inform the victim of domestic violence that the could file a civil injunction for protection against domestic violence, commonly known as a restraining order.

Another way the culture has changed is with respect to drinking and driving. I can remember when the phrase "One for the road" referred to a drink you would take with you in the car. The culture has no evolved to "Don't drink and drive," which is a zero tolerance limit. Florida law is not zero tolerance with respect to alcohol because a person can legally consume alcohol and then drive a motor vehicle so long as their normal faculties are not impair by the alcohol, or so long as their breath-alcohol level is below the legal limit of .08.

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