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Strategies to Prevent Drunk Driving

Alcohol can have a variety of effects on a driver. It can affect the driver’s hand-eye-foot coordination, reaction time, and comprehension skills, which are all important aspects in the act of driving. If a driver’s physical and mental capabilities are compromised, he or she is not the only one in danger of traffic accidents and injuries, but also the other unsuspecting motorists around.

For this reason, driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal. Getting arrested for driving drunk has consequences, such as fines that can reach thousands of dollars, suspension of license, and even jail time. Still, many people drive while intoxicated, as if they do not fear the consequences.

DUI Laws
One way to prevent drunk driving is by having laws against it and ensuring their proper implementation. There are legal blood alcohol content levels that vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Typically, the threshold is at 0.08%. Those who have a BAC at 0.08% or higher may be arrested for drunk driving.

DUI can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. How an offense can be determined to be a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the jurisdiction. But generally, the offense is elevated to a felony when a person has been injured.

Sobriety Checkpoints
Sobriety checkpoints are strategic locations where law officers stop vehicles and check whether their drivers are impaired in any way. By having sobriety checkpoints, there is more reason for drivers to avoid drunk driving, because arrest becomes a more and more viable consequence.

Fines and Penalties
Fines and penalties vary, depending on the jurisdiction. Most of the time, the severity of fines and penalties depends on how many times the driver has committed the offense and how bad the offense is, taking into consideration the BAC level, injury, property damage, and other important factors.

Fines can reach hundreds or thousands of dollars. Penalties may include license suspension or revocation reaching up to 10 years. There are instances where the revocation is even permanent. Jail time is also not out of the question.

Ignition Interlocks
Ignition interlocks are devices that are put into the offender’s car to measure his or her blood alcohol content through breath. If the BAC reaches a certain threshold, the vehicle won’t start. Usually, the threshold is at 0.02%.

The hassles of ignition interlocks can prevent repeated offenses, and the idea that ignition interlocks exist is also a good way to deter drivers from driving while intoxicated.

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The Facts On No Refusal Weekends

“No refusal weekends” is a program set up by law enforcement to assist in the prosecution of drunk drivers. Created around the year 2000 in order to eliminate refusing a breathalyzer as a method of avoiding a DUI, “no refusal weekends” give officers an expedited method of obtaining a warrant for a blood test.

States with “no refusal” programs have particular arrangements with judges and magistrates. These officials are on call, ready to sign warrants in real time granting officers the proper legal right to conduct a blood test in the field. In contrast, states without this program require a lengthy warrant process to conduct a legal blood test.

The effect of the “no refusal” program has been to reduce not only the number of breathalyzer refusals, but also the number of DUIs overall. Before the program was implemented, the average refusal rate was around nineteen percent. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rates in some Texas counties such as Montgomery approached fifty percent. This means that one in every two drivers suspected of driving drunk were refusing to be breath test, creating a huge impediment to officers. After the program was put in place, 12 DWI suspects refused to submit to a breath test and went through the warrant process. Blood tests showed all to be well above the statutory limit, with an average of .19 BAC. Additionally, the refusal rate dropped from the original fifty percent to a groundbreaking ten percent.

The results of this program have been substantial. The Benton Law Firm reports that this [No Refusal Weekends] has had a tremendous impact at curbing drunk driving accidents during major holiday weekends such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July.

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The Fair Labor Standards Act: Protecting the Right of Every Employee when it Comes to Just Wages and Overtime Pay

In all U.S. states, federal and state laws protect employees against employment discrimination, especially where wage and overtime pay are the issues. Besides anti- discrimination laws, there is also a law which specifies the lawful number of working hours within a week, the minimum wage, who can render overtime work and the computation for overtime pay.

The law specifically referred to is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), also called the Wages and Hours Bill, which the US Congress passed in1938. The FLSA defines the legal daily or weekly number of working hours, the national minimum wage and the computation of overtime pay, among others.

Many employees agree to working overtime for the extra cash it will allow them to earn. Not all employees, however, are eligible to render overtime work, only those who are non-exempt are allowed to render it.

Workers who are exempt, or who are not eligible to render overtime work include administrative, executive, professional employees, outside sales employees, certain skilled computer professionals, employees employed in certain recreational or seasonal establishments, switchboard operators of small telephone companies, seamen in foreign vessels, those engaged in fishing operations, farm workers working in small farms, those employed as companions to the infirm or elderly and casual babysitters.

Despite the Fair Labor Standards Act, many employees, especially undocumented workers, are robbed of their right to receive overtime pay (actually, even the lawful minimum pay) by stubborn employers. To get away with their acts that clearly violate the minimum wage law and overtime pay law, these employers hint on the consequence of firing anyone who may have any intent of complaining, hinting as well on the issue of these employees being illegal immigrants and threatening them of being reported for deportation.

As explained by a wage claim attorney, the (FLSA) clearly outlines the rules employers must follow when paying employees. Unfortunately, many businesses in many different industries continue to routinely make efforts to deny workers the overtime pay they are entitled to. In connection to overtime pay violation, anyone who is denied his/her overtime pay ought to find it necessary to fight for his her rights. Instead of being afraid to be fired (or, in the case of illegal immigrants, to be deported) one should realize that there are laws that will protect him/her and which may even allow hi/her to recover back wages.

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Postponing Repairs on Minor Roof Problems can Either Mean You are Very Rich or You Just Love Spending so much Cash

Roofs protect people from forces of nature, including hurricanes, hail, rain, snow, heat, etc., at the same time, it also provides all kinds of structures a distinctive aesthetic look and style. Today, there are more than a dozen available roof types and styles one can choose from; one can even combine any of the available basic types and styles, making a structure more stylish and defined.

Even roofs, however, are subject to wear and tear, making these last only within a number of years after installation. Thus, as roof ages, problems will inevitably set in and, if a roof is not properly and routinely maintained, then even minor problems can become catastrophic.

Home and building owners who have already experienced roof problems know fully well that these can be a source of significant spending and great inconvenience. They share one common mistake, actually: postponing repairs of their roof while the problems are still minor since they think that can save money, time, and effort this way. One thing they forget is the fact that minor roof problems intensify over time, becoming major problems and making repairs much more costly.

According to commercial roofers in Fort Lauderdale, these are the signs that will indicate you need to have your roof repaired, restored or replaced:

  • More than 20 years have passed since your roof was installed, restored or replaced;
  • There are cracks or breaks around vents, chimney or skylight;
  • You see beams of light through the top of the house or stains which are indicative of leaks due to cracks;
  • There is damage to the roof vent;
  • There are cracked, damaged, buckling or missing shingles, especially after a heavy storm or other natural calamities;
  • There is clear evidence of rotting boards, trapped moisture, or sagging spots and clogged gutters; and,
  • There is moss, mold and fungi which is indicative of trapped moisture;

These roof problems do not just appear, but results of minor problems which were noticed but ignored. Some of these problems include:

  • Poor or faulty roof installation;
  • Leaks and moisture due to rain, snow, ice, wind, hail and debris;
  • Poorly attached flashing which cause seams and laps and the tiles to blow-off;
  • Birds and insects and other small animals nesting under the roof;
  • Ponding water, which is usually be due to improperly designed drainage or debris buildup;
  • Punctures and penetrations cause by wind and hail;
  • Crack on the roof caused by overhanging, falling or heavy tree branches that rub on it;
  • Poor roof and attic ventilation, which can damage rafters sheathing, and shingles or cause moisture build up. This can also lead to mold and mildew problems; and,
  • Improper or lack of maintenance. Roofs which are properly maintained can mean longer roof life, a poorly maintained one, however, can result to early roof repair or restoration.

Roof problems need to be expertly diagnosed and given immediate solution. Once minor problems are allowed to intensify (by postponing repairs), then expect headache-causing and costly solutions to possible major damages.

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Dozing Off while Driving a Truck: What Results can a Truck Driver Expect

In August 2010, a triple trailer truck rammed into a Ford Focus before ramming into five other vehicles. The driver of the Ford Focus died, another occupant suffered a crushed skull that resulted to traumatic brain injury, while a third suffered a broken pelvis and eye socket.

In June 2014, another truck accident killed four members of a Texas community college women’s softball team, put comedian Tracy Morgan into a coma and killed his co-comedian James McNair. In both 2010 and 2014 truck accidents, the drivers of the trucks had the same fault: both were too sleepy and actually dozed off prior to ramming the other vehicles and killing most of the occupants.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is the agency in the U.S. Department of Transportation, that is in charge of regulating the trucking industry in the United States believes that a vast majority of truckers, especially veteran truck drivers, are responsible drives who drive well within reasonable limits. Some others, however, are often tempted to push themselves to their limits (in order to take home bigger pays), putting so many other motorists at risk. This is because drivers are paid by the mile and never get overtime pay. Thus, to earn more, many end up driving despite lack of sleep or having no sleep at all. As a result, at least 4,000 fatal truck crashes and more than 100,00 leading to injuries are recorded by the U.S. Department of Transportation every year, with trucker fatigue being the most common cause of these crashes.

Houston truck accident attorneys say that while every motorist has the duty to safely and properly operate their vehicles in a manner that will not cause harm to others on the road, truck drivers have an even greater responsibility due to the devastating amount of damage commercial trucks can cause in accidents. Unfortunately, not all truck drivers fulfill this important duty, sometimes making reckless decisions that endanger the lives and well-being of innocent drivers on the road.

Trucks pose a major threat to other motorists because of the considerable difference in size and power between these trucks and most other vehicles on the road. Indeed, truck accidents tend to have far more serious effects than any other type of car accident in which a person may be involved. Getting hurt in a trucking accident can have life-altering consequences – more than enough reason to hold erring truck drivers and/or their employers to make them pay for the unjust damages that they cause.

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Spinal Cord Injuries – An Aftermath of Negligent or Reckless Behavior

In 2005, new cases of spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the U.S. was 11,000. Nine years after, in 2014, new cases for this type of injury increased by 1,500, while the number of those already suffering from it was estimated at 276,000 (including children and adults).

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCSC), the latest records show more alarming numbers, with 17,000 new SCI cases each year and an estimated 282,000 persons children and adults already with this type of injury.

The spinal cord, which is a bundle of nerve tissues and support cells, is responsible for sending messages from the brain to the different parts of the body and vice-versa. Due to these messages, a person is able to feel pain, move his/her limbs, and so forth. The spinal cord forms the central nervous system with the brain and is one of the human body’s most delicate and sensitive parts. While the brain serves as the command center of the body, the spinal cord serves as the pathway for all messages to and fro the brain.

An injury to the spinal cord, whether traumatic or non-traumatic, can damage the ligaments or spinal column disks, the vertebrae, or the spinal cord itself. A traumatic spinal cord injury is characterized by a fractured, crushed, dislocated, or compressed area of the vertebrae. This can result from a sudden, forceful blow to the spine, a knife wound or a gunshot would that pierces and cuts the spinal cord. A non-traumatic spinal cord injury, on the other hand, may be due to disk degeneration of the spine, inflammation, infections, arthritis or cancer.

A spinal cord injury can have devastating effects due to the very important function it plays. The most common consequence of SCI is paralysis, either partial or total, depending on the specific area affected by the injury. Partial paralysis, or Paraplegia, is impairment in motor or sensory function (loss of movements and/or sensation) of the lower extremities or the legs. Total paralysis, or Quadriplegia (also called tetraplegia, the term more commonly used in Europe), on the other hand, is spinal cord injury that result to some degree of paralysis in all four extremities or limbs – the legs and arms.

Causes of spinal cord injury include: falling from a significant height; a sporting event accident; electrical accidents; a violent attack, such as a stabbing or a gunshot; and motor vehicle accident, which is actually the leading cause of this injury.

While the New York City personal injury attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, knows that serious injuries are often results of accidents which, of course, are never intended by those at fault, they also know that these accidents are, more often than not, results of negligent or reckless behavior, for which those at fault can be held totally liable under the law. In connection to this, the Baton Rouge spinal cord injury attorneys specifically talk about severe injuries, such as a spinal cord injury, which is a common consequence in various types of accidents. SCI, specifically, requires regular and continuous treatment which is not only costly, but which can also cause financial burden in the long run. This costly medical treatment, which is too important for a victim not to undergo, is just one of the many reasons why the liable party will have to be held liable for the consequence of his/her irresponsible behavior. Maybe pursuing legal action against this at-fault person, through the help of a seasoned personal injury lawyer, is necessary in order to claim compensation for the damages he/she has unjustly caused.

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How a Drug Offense can Affect a Divorce Case

The greatest benefit of a healthy marriage is probably all the positive effects it will allow both spouses and children to experience – things that may protect or cushion any family member who may face any social, emotional, educational or professional problems associated with daily living.

So many marriages, however, deviate from the healthy path and eventually end in divorce instead. Various studies, in fact, show that so many couples divorce after just some years into marriage; worse, there are even couples who divorce after more than 20 years of living together. The reason for divorce? Some say they have just fallen out of love, while some others blame their spouse for becoming abusive or getting involved in illegal practices, like substance abuse.

Let’s face it – millions of Americans suffer from addiction – to alcohol, and illegal and/or prescription drugs. Though all states now allow spouses to file for divorce based on no-fault grounds (one simply has to indicate “irreconcilable differences” in the divorce form), those that still allow fault-based divorces consider adultery, cruel treatment, and drug or alcohol abuse as perfectly acceptable reasons why one spouse would decide to terminate his/her union with his/her partner. Thus, in these states, a spouse may be able to file for divorce due to his/her spouse’s substance abuse.

The spouse filing for divorce (due to his/her spouse’s drug addiction) as well as the spouse being accused of drug dependence should fully know and understand how a drug offense can affect their divorce case and all divorce-related issues, including child custody and visitation rights, child support, division of assets, and alimony (it can also affect an application to modify court decision on all related issues).

Family courts take criminal offenses, including substance abuse issues, very seriously. With regard to the issue of child custody, for instance, while courts may not dwell on the issue of moderate drinking, it will strongly consider a spouse’s parenting ability if he/she were drug dependent. Thus, a spouse with a substance abuse problem:

  • Is less likely to be awarded custodial rights;
  • May not be given overnight visitation rights or may be required to make his/her visitation periods supervised by a professional (in extreme cases, though, a court may deny him/her visitation rights altogether);
  • May be required by the court to submit to drug and alcohol screens periodically, receive addiction treatment, or attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings;
  • May have his/her custodial rights terminated altogether if his/her substance abuse leads to child abuse or serious injury to the child.

Division of property and alimony can be affected as well, especially if the substance abuse results to the guilty spouse impacting the couple’s finances. In very uncommon situations, however, a court may instead require the sober spouse to pay alimony to his/her addicted partner, such as in a situation wherein the drug dependent spouse develops a mental illness that requires institutionalization; in this particular case the sober spouse may be required to pay cost of treatment that is not covered by disability benefits.

In its website, the Arenson Law Group, PC explains that many spouses, despite acceptable grounds in fault-based divorce states, are unsure if they should really apply for divorce or if divorce is the right step in ending their union with their partner. Though there can be various signs that may point to divorce, such as loss of intimacy, trust issues, irreconcilable differences, or perpetual disagreements, divorce remains to be a complex process and can turn extremely frustrating and emotionally-draining if it ends up in court. With the help of a knowledgeable divorce attorney, however, a spouse may be able to save himself/herself (and his/her spouse) from public scrutiny by keeping their divorce case from being tried publicly in court.

In the case of the spouse charged with a criminal offense, though the possibility of divorce may no longer be avoided, it does not mean that he/she should give up defending himself/herself from being convicted or from the very harsh punishment of the law due to one mistake that has eventually led to his/her present dilemma. Drug-related crimes can have long-term effects: these can negatively impact one’s future personal, community and professional life. For a Westchester drug offense attorney, protecting and defending the rights of a person accused of a drug offense is always worth doing, especially if this endeavor will give the accused another shot at life – an improved and better life for his/her sake and for the sake of those who will be part of his/her future.