Home > It's A Legal Matter > Time on your side. Maybe.

Time on your side. Maybe.

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader


How about all of this extra sunshine in the evening? Time definitely didnít stand still in the early morning of April 10. Thatís when Daylight Saving Time (DST) kicked in for the year. Cable boxes and cell phones everywhere moved forward an hour. I donít so much mind the loss of an hour. But I do find it interesting that the government can speed up and slow down time. The more I think about DST, the more confused I get.

This much I understand: at 2:00 a.m. on April 10, 2013, time jumped one hour. 2:01 a.m. actually became 3:01 a.m. There was no 2:05 or 2:50 a.m. on April 10, right? So, what did the guy do who was supposed to pick his friend up at 2:30 a.m.? Was he an hour early? Or an hour late? How about the third shift employee who started her eight hour shift at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday night? She only worked seven actual hours, correct? Will she get paid for eight hours or just seven?

Iím curious about the guy who got arrested and transported to jail at 1:00 a.m. on April 10 and then released at 9:00 a.m. that same day. Will he receive credit for eight hours of jail time or just seven? A police officer has three hours from the time of the alleged impaired driving to test a suspectís blood, urine or breath. So, is a certified breath test taken just over two actual hours from the time of the traffic stop on April 10 at 3:00 a.m. admissible?

Arenít there supposed to be twenty-four hours in a day? Werenít there only twenty-three hours on April 10?

The Department of Transportation regulates time changes and time zones at the federal level. Supporters of DST claim it saves energy, reduces car accidents and deters crime, among other things. Indiana didnít observe DST until 2006. Iím not sure there are recent studies to support those claims, but the benefits sound plausible. Critics claim the time change has no impact on the reduction of accidents, energy conservation or crime. They also believe itís disruptive to kidsí bedtimes and that it keeps farmers from getting a jump on the day.

If the government can change time, what else can it do? We have laws that say how old a person must be before he can smoke, vote or drink alcoholic beverages. Legislators also tell us what words mean. ďIntoxication,Ē ďutterĒ and ďpersonĒ are just a few of the myriad terms defined by our lawmakers. Some acts that were legal last year will be outlawed this year.

I guess my point is this: if we can change time, then anything is possible. Whatís next? Will a person be able to change his own age. Can he petition to make himself a year younger? Maybe that would make him feel younger and allow him to prolong his career. What if we redefine what it means to die? Could someone live forever? Will the government at some point decide to change time more than just an hour? Why not a week or a month?

What if studies showed that an extra weekend day during the summer was good for the economy? Would the government extend a week to eight days? Could we be looking at a three day weekend every week?

I have to stop. I think this article was due an hour ago. Or, wait, maybe I still have an hour.


Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you.

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