Most people consider themselves law-abiding. While most may not commit obvious crimes like robbery or murder, there are still small ways we all break the law, either knowingly or unwittingly. Breaking the law is punishable, so we ought to obey the set rules and regulations to be safe. Here are some of the most common offenses everyday citizens commit:
Almost all drivers have driven beyond the posted speed limit at some point. Most tend to exceed the stipulated speed limits, thus putting themselves, their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians in danger. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, overspeeding causes close to a third of all road fatalities. As a responsible citizen, it is your duty to drive within the specified speed limits to save lives and avoid paying the hefty fines of resulting speeding tickets.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
Most drivers know drunk driving is illegal, but they still do it. In all states, a baseline blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% is a punishable offense. For drivers aged 21 years and below, zero-tolerance rules discourage drinking altogether. Drunk driving compromises your vision and responsiveness, thus increasing your risk of causing an accident. In most states, drunk driving has serious legal, financial, and personal consequences. According to Skinner Law Firm, “DUI charges can have grave effects on your career, education and/or personal life.” Some of the ramifications include license suspension, mandatory jail-time, hefty fees and fines, job loss, and restrictions and higher insurance rates. To avoid drunk driving, always have a designated driver when you go drinking, or hire a taxi. Similarly, never allow yourself to be driven by a driver who has been drinking.
Although laws on gambling vary in different states, you could still be breaking them unknowingly. Seemingly simple gaming activities such as fantasy football and house poker games are punishable by law in most states. The crackdown on such gambling activities may not be extensive, but it is a federal crime to profit off these games through a rake, or selling drinks and refreshments to the participants.
With current internet use, distribution of content has become hard to control. Music piracy is particularly prevalent in many parts of the country, and labels, and production corporations continue to incur losses. It is unfortunate that most people currently pirate songs, movies, and TV shows instead of looking for the legal options. If found guilty of piracy, you could face up to five years jail time fines of up to $250,000. We should all strive to obtain content the legal way to help promote the artists and avoid the legal implications of piracy.
Connecting to Unsecure Wi-Fi Hotspots
We are all used to free public Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels, shops, gyms, airports, and other areas. While this is a great convenience to most of us, it is important to note that using unsecured Wi-Fi connections is illegal and could lead to fines and imprisonment in some states. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act also prohibits piggybacking, which is the unauthorized access to an unsecured computer network, including Wi-Fi. Though the laws governing piggybacking are unclear in most states, it is better to be safe than sorry so research on what your local and state rules and comply.
Breaking the law is costly and could drain your finances unnecessarily. As responsible citizens, we all must obey all state rules and regulations to avoid inconveniencing ourselves and those around us. Following the law also saves the government time and resources which can go to improving other things.