Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 373 • Dec. 29, 2017
Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing

As we commemorate the holidays and bring 2017 to a close, I want to remind all Floridians to celebrate responsibly. December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month and I urge you to do your part to ensure safe holiday travels for all.

In recognition of the month, law enforcement officers across the state are participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday campaign—to stop drunk driving and save lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk-driving accidents claim more than 10,000 lives in our country every year.

The period between Christmas and New Year’s is a particularly dangerous time on the roadways. During the month of December 2016, 781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving crashes.

New Year’s is a joyous occasion. A time to reflect with family and friends and look forward to new beginnings. If your celebration plans include alcohol, designate a driver, call a cab or use a ride sharing service. There are more safe travel options today than ever before—and there are no excuses for impaired driving.

My hope for the new year is that you greet 2018, happy, healthy and alive.

Happy New Year!

In the News
Judge orders R.J. Reynolds to keep paying Florida millions, The Washington Post, AP

Judge tells big tobacco to keep paying Florida, Tampa Bay Times

5,000 rape kits result in 1,300 DNA "hits" in Florida, ABC 7 Sarasota

Police records: FGCU sexual assault suspect linked to 2011 sex crime, Naples Daily News

Charity accused of exploiting cancer patients and fire victims, Sun Sentinel

Florida AG declares charity a ‘scam outfit’, warns donors to do their homework, CBS 12

Protecting Floridians
Court Orders Tobacco Company to Honor Florida’s Historic Tobacco Settlement

Attorney General Pam Bondi announced a major ruling in a case involving Florida’s historic tobacco settlement agreement. The litigation centers around R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s sale of three iconic cigarette brands, Winston, Kool and Salem, along with a legacy Lorillard Tobacco Company brand, Maverick, to Imperial Tobacco Group in June 2015 for $7 billion.

From the time of the tobacco settlement in 1997 through 2015, RJR paid the state tens of millions of dollars annually for these cigarette brands in compliance with the historic settlement. After the June 2015 sale, RJR stopped making payments on these brands, costing the state an estimated $30 million a year in perpetuity.

“Today’s ruling will ensure Florida’s landmark tobacco settlement is honored and our state receives the money it is owed,” said Attorney General Bondi. “My office is committed to pursuing all appropriate remedies when companies try to evade their monetary obligations to the State of Florida.” More.