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Judge gives offenders a choice: Pay fine or donate blood

PLANTATION – Jeremy Thomas, a 16-year-old from Coral Springs, was busted for underage smoking at the mall a few months ago.On Friday, Broward County Court Judge Steven Shutter ruled those few puffs would cost Thomas 7 1/2 hours of community service or a $53 fine or a pint of blood.Without hesitation, he walked to a van outside the West Regional Courthouse in Plantation and prepared to be stuck with a needle.”I didn’t want to pay the fine,” Thomas said. Defendants who appear before Shutter can lop off as much as $75 from their fines or receive credit for community service if they donate blood. The option is available to traffic offenders whose violations range from expired vehicle tags to unintentionally killing someone in a car accident. Also eligible are some defendants charged with criminal misdemeanors and alcohol violations. Click here for full story:,0,4487754.story

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