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Although hunger can make you a little loopy, a Florida woman may have taken it to the next level when she called 911 to complain about the "raw waffles" she received at a restaurant.
The woman explained to the dispatcher that she asked the waffles to be removed from her bill, but the restaurant server accused of her being drunk, according to The Huffington Post.
While the woman wasn't arrested for her call, making "false alarm" 911 calls in Florida could land a caller in jail.
Misuse of 911 Calls Is Punishable
Under Florida law, it's a crime for people to call 911 for the sole purpose of making a false alarm or for purposely using the service for any reason other than obtaining public safety assistance. People who dial 911 for unauthorized purposes could be charged with a misdemeanor in the first degree, which could result in almost a year in jail.
For repeat offenders who call 911 four or more times for non-emergencies, they could spend up to five years in prison, according to Florida's statutes.
The Tampa, Florida police have used the recording of the woman's alleged waffle emergency as a reminder to citizens that 50 percent of 911 calls received are non-emergencies, HuffPo reports. Those calls make the dispatchers' jobs even more difficult. Plus, it could slow down response time to people with life-threatening emergencies.
Why Wasn't She Arrested?
Although some people might argue that calling 911 regarding raw waffles is not a public safety issue, the hungry caller wasn't arrested for her call. However, other 911 callers haven't been as lucky.
Unlike the waffle lady, another Florida man was arrested after he made 18, non-emergency 911 calls in two months. One of his calls alleged that a deputy was making out with a prostitute who lived in his neighborhood.
So it seems like the cops are willing to let one, non-emergency 911 call slide, but if you repeatedly create false reports or call when there's no crime, you're likely to be arrested.
Bottom line: If you need assistance from a public safety officer, but aren't faced with an emergency, it's best to call the non-emergency line rather than 911.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.