Counter-arguing Charges of Impaired Driving

Nov 20

DWI, which stands for driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired, and DUI, for driving under the influence, are serious crimes that refer to driving while impaired by the effects of either alcohol or drugs (illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drugs). While some states use DWI and DUI interchangeably to refer to the same crime, others differentiate between the two, using DUI to signify lesser intoxication, thus, charging a driver with a lesser offense.

All US states consider a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher as impaired driving and, to further reduce drunk or drugged driving incidences, some authoritative bodies have been empowered to set lower BAC limits, as well as impose more severe penalties on offenders. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for instance, has set a zero tolerance level for those below the age of 21, while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has mandated a 0.04% BAC limit for those driving a commercial vehicle, such as a truck.

Many states are also becoming stricter in enforcing anti-drunk driving laws, thus the setting up of more sobriety check points and enforcers becoming more observant of signs of drunk driving. An enforcer, of course, has the authority to stop a driver suspected of being impaired and require him or her to perform some tests, like standing on one leg or walking in a straight line, and even submit to a breathalyzer test.

Professional-grade breathalyzer devices, like those used by law enforcers for roadside alcohol testing are acknowledged as highly accurate and sensitive. There are important factors, however, that enforcers need to consider when using these devices on suspected drunk drivers:

  • These breathalyzers require periodic calibration in order to maintain accurate reading; failure to calibrate these regularly can affect BAC analysis.
  • Breathalyzers can definitely measure alcohol which is present in alcoholic drinks; however, it will also give measurable BAC readings if one consumes food cooked in alcohol, or uses substances that contain (even small amounts of) alcohol, like toothache medicines and mouthwash.
  • Acetone, which is detectable in the breath of those on high protein diets and diabetics, and other compounds that have a molecular structure similar to alcohol, may result to BAC readings. Besides these, adhesives, plastics, varnish, paint fumes, and cleaning chemicals with rubbing alcohol, can also produce false BAC results.

Impairment, the effect of alcohol and the real root of danger for both the (impaired) driver and all others on the road, is the top reason why drinking and driving is strictly prohibited under federal and state laws. But, while this may be a totally acceptable reason for apprehending and charging offenders, one main issue that has led to so many legal concerns is the overzealousness of some enforcers which has, in a number of instances, resulted to the unreasonable arrest of many individuals.

In an article posted in its website, the Law Offices of Richard A. Portale, P.C., affirms the increased attention given by law enforcers on drunk driving and the maximum penalties imposed on those charged. But while said law firm may be concerned about the steep penalties that those charged can suffer from, it is much more worried about the serious professional and personal consequences of a criminal charge on the accused. This same legal concern is mentioned and explained in an article found in a website with address, Aside from the possible penalties and life-altering effects of a DWI conviction, the article also mentions the importance of contacting a criminal (DWI) defense attorney immediately, for the hope of possibly clearing one’s name of all criminal charges.

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Securing Your Loved Ones’ Financial Future Free from Debts and Disputes

Nov 19

To so many Americans, one very common financial concern is meeting essential expenses, such as mortgage or rent payment, student loans, monthly bills and credit card payments; to some others, there is also the additional concern of child support.

With all the bills and debts to pay, and with the almost inadequate monthly wage, many, especially parents, are often left wondering what else is there to leave behind if they die.

Minding family financial matters can be a very worrisome concern – but only because many are led to believe that making financial plans for their loved ones’ future (after they die) is only for the wealthy class. People tend to dismiss the thought that the things they have, no matter how “not so expensive” these may be, are worth bequeathing to their spouse and/or child. A house, a car, an antique jewelry, an antique table or furniture, an insurance policy, retirement pay, an old painting, or a small business, maybe – these things are worth passing on to all who people care for.

While some feel hopeless and fear losing a house or a car due to inability to continue making mortgage payments or a car bank loan, plus the growing debts which will obviously reach an amount that will already be impossible to pay, seeking help from a highly-qualified bankruptcy lawyer can be one solution to finally end their financial crisis and see a financial future worth hoping for.

Through an article posted in its website, the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, explains just how filing and qualifying for bankruptcy can help individuals and families return to enjoying financial freedom. Contrary to the negative consequences many associate with bankruptcy, this legal process rather serves, as the Bradford Law Offices puts it, as an invaluable tool that will help debtors restore order to their finances.

After bankruptcy (depending on the particular bankruptcy chapter that may work on an applicant’s specific situation) has erased some debts and has made the remaining debts much easier to pay, a family can now think more clearly about making plans for their loved ones’ financial future. One way is by making an estate plan, a plan made by a testator (a person writing the Will) before his or her death. An estate plan names the people to whom a testator intends to leave behind his or her assets or properties after he or she dies.

Estate planning basically starts with the drafting of a Will. A Will, as explained in the website of Peck Ritchey, LLC, is intended to administer the last wishes of an individual; it a legally binding document that gives instructions as how a testators’ assets will be distributed and to whom these will be distributed. A Will, however, can be subjected to contest, if any beneficiary or family member suspects its contents as not reflective of the actual intentions of the testator or if the wordings cannot be clearly interpreted. This makes it very important that a testator draft a Will with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, who may be able to help make sure that its wordings will be clear enough so prevent any potential disputes among beneficiaries and family members.

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Eliminating Possible Unseen Causes Truck Accidents

Nov 18

More goods are again being imported into the US, resulting to availability of more products, a wider array of goods to choose from, and maybe even more jobs that will help augment many families’ monthly income – thanks to this nation’s continuously improving economy.

One clear sign of this economic growth is the increased presence of large, 18-wheeler trucks or big rigs on US roads and highways, many of which travel long distances carrying loads of products that need to be delivered. But, while these trucks may be said to be making major contributions in “filling our nation’s transportation and distribution needs,” these also serve as major threats on the road, the cause of half a million accidents every year. In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck accidents cause more than 100,000 injuries and 4,000 deaths annually.

Many drivers blame fatal truck accidents (as well as the continuous increases in the number of these accidents) on commercial truck drivers who the victims say act like the commercial drivers believe that they have the right of way, are careless on the road, and often failing to consider the presence of smaller vehicles.

The tide of blame, however, takes a totally different course when considering truck drivers’ opinion or results of various studies and surveys. One big rig driver for instance, who has been on the road for almost 30 years, cites the failure of many car drivers to use turn signals. Even the Automobile Association of America’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, though surprising as it may be, says that 75% of the accidents involving trucks and cars are the fault of car drivers – the same view held by majority of the 800 poll respondents, who said that passenger vehicle drivers drive more dangerously near and around trucks, making unsafe lane changes, tailgating, speeding, cutting in front of a truck and then immediately slowing down.

Trucks move/maneuver much slower than cars, therefore, it needs more room; these also have blind spots or areas where smaller vehicles are not visible to their drivers. Now, while it is true that car drivers need to learn how to drive safely around cars (a topic not included in required tests and books when applying for a driver’s license), truck drivers, on their part, as professional drivers, should be more watchful and be more considerate to drivers of smaller vehicles (trucks always adjusting to smaller vehicles, however, can have consequential effects on the business operation of those in the trucking industry). But to actually reduce the number of preventable tragic accidents, acting responsibly and observing laws are necessary in order to eliminate possible unseen causes of these accidents and so ensure safety in the trucking business.

Without doubt, responsible actions and observance of laws will always ensure: production of truck tires and other vital truck parts that comply with federal standards; construction of good roads and proper maintenance of these; hiring or qualified drivers, making sure that they are further trained, and keeping bad ones off the road; and, making sure that truck loads are equally distributed and properly secured.

“The inherent danger that large 18-wheelers pose,” as explained in the website of the law firm David Ravid and Associates, “makes it imperative that all of the proper safety measures are taken and that these trucks are well maintained.” There are many different reasons why truck accidents occur; however, one sure thing is that when accidents do happen, the ones most seriously harmed are drivers of smaller vehicles, pedestrians, etc.

While it is a sad fact that the harm resulting from a truck accident can no longer be undone, victims should also never be allowed to suffer the financial consequences of such accident.

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