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Can You Avoid a DUI Checkpoint If You're on a Scooter?

In a fantastic testament to the human spirit, people who choose to drink are increasingly more aware of drinking and driving. And the ride-sharing companies of the world thank you for that. But what about the new scooter rental companies? Can you legally drive a scooter while intoxicated? And the answer to that is, it depends.

Police Use of Surveillance Stingrays Requires a Warrant

It is unconstitutional for police to use Stingrays without a warrant. And yet, it happens more often than is ever discovered.

Last week, the Florida Court of Appeals ruled that any evidence obtained through the use of a Stingray device without a warrant is inadmissible, even if police used admissible technology to come up with almost the same information. This ruling should not have come as a surprise -- it is consistent with almost every court ruling of a Stingray device. But police still keep using them, often without warrants, hoping to get away with an unlawful search and seizure.

As often happens as storms approach and residents and business owners evacuate, the signs get posted: "Looters Will Be Shot." Most people just chuckle, a few people get worried about armed vigilantes, and a few others think, "they'll get what they deserve." And while the First Amendment may protect your right to free speech (be careful -- threatening to kill someone can get you into trouble), do you actually have the legal right to shoot someone for looting?

Here's a look:

Violence Against Women Act Set to Expire

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), originally passed in 1994, is set to expire at the end of September. Thousands of women will be left vulnerable, and crisis centers will lose valuable funding, unless the House takes action. But time is of the essence, and there are only four working days left for the House to pass this bill.

To date, other bills are being prioritized, such as a new farm bill and a bill to fund the government to prevent a shut-down. However, with the November elections on the horizon, and many Republics fighting madly to keep their seats, it's likely both parties will work together quickly to pass an extension, whether in good conscience or good PR.

Sheriff's deputies and police officers have long been a presence in schools, in case things get out of hand. Recently, school administrators and resource officers have taken things a bit further, conducting so-called "scared straight" programs under which misbehaving students are exposed to jails or prisons as an effort to convince them to change their ways.

Beyond being ineffective and often backfiring, such tactics can be illegal or unconstitutional. Such was the case when a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy arrested seven middle school girls for being uncooperative during a bullying investigation to "prove a point" and "make (them) mature a lot faster."

Do You Have to Post Bail for a DUI?

Most people arrested for a DUI are begging to have their bail established and posted as soon as humanly possible to get out of jail, the holding cell, or "the drunk tank." But what if you aren't in a hurry, or what if you don't have the bail money, and aren't feeling too good about asking anyone else for it. Do you have to post bail if arrested for a DUI? Absolutely not.

Consider the following quote from National Security Adviser and former United Nations ambassador John Bolton:

"We will respond against the ICC [International Criminal Court] and its personnel to the extent permitted by U.S. law. We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans."

Those are pretty strong words. But the United States has for a long time had a strained relationship with the International Criminal Court. It was one of seven nations to vote against the Rome Statute creating the court (along with China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, and Yemen), and while former President Bill Clinton later signed the statute, the treaty was never submitted to Congress.

And now, with news that the ICC will investigate alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, that relationship has gotten even worse. But could the court actually prosecute and punish American citizens?

It's Now Legal to Open-Carry a Sword in Texas

The Uber's here? Hold on, let me grab my machete.

As of September 1, 2017, it is legal to carry a knife with a blade longer than 5.5 inches in many places in Texas. Though there are exceptions carved out, Texans are now allowed to openly carry Jim Bowie knives, Rambo knives, daggers, swords, and yes, even machetes. It's curious for those folks with an open carry license for guns: how will they decide which to bring? After all, a person only has so many pockets and a man-purse isn't exactly Texas-chic. And it's never wise to bring a knife to a gun fight. It's always OK to lug around a shotgun in Texas. So what's the need for this knife law, or lack thereof?

Joshua Tree Arsonist Gets 5 Years in Prison

As the old saying goes, burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me. So, what happens the third time? You get the book thrown at you.

What this means for the Joshua Tree arsonist: five years in prison.

The constant push and pull between privacy interests and law enforcement continues to play out in the products and services coming from the world's largest tech company. At the same time that Apple is working to make its iPhones more difficult for cops to unlock, the tech giant is also trying to make access to user data easier for law enforcement personnel.

According to a letter to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Apple will be unveiling a new portal for law enforcement to submit and track requests for user data related to investigations, along with training programs on accessing and deciphering digital evidence. The feature is expected to go live later this year.