A Singular Mistake does not Justify a Harsh, Lasting Punishment

Drunk-driving remains to be one of the major causes of car accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which also says that in 2012, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes – one every 51 minutes.. However, despite the grave danger associated with alcohol-impaired driving and this being a major traffic offense in all 50 states, millions of drivers continue to sit behind the wheel even when intoxicated.

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit in all U.S. states is 0.08%. This is usually reached after consuming four regular bottles of beer within an hour. A driver who registers a 0.08% BAC level will be considered alcohol-impaired and charged with DUI (in some states, the charge is DWI if the BAC level is higher than 0.08%).

Impairment, which is the effect of alcohol and the real cause of danger, is the primary reason why impaired driving is prohibited under both federal and state laws. While this may be a legally acceptable reason to apprehend and charge violators, the overzealousness of some enforcers, however, has, in a number of instances, resulted to the unreasonable arrest of many individuals. Though punishments for DUI vary from one state to another, these are nevertheless harsh in order to discourage anyone from committing this grave offense.

Some states punish DUI offenders by suspending their license and driving privileges, probation and fines. Others include community service, imprisonment, and the installation of an ignition interlock device in offenders’ vehicles (an ignition interlock device is a device designed to analyze a driver’s breath; it automatically disables a car’s ignition upon detection of alcohol). Installation of an ignition interlock device is done in 45 states. These states allow those convicted of DUI to continue driving on the condition that the device is installed in their vehicle.

As explained by the law firm Truslow & Truslow, being accused of DUI is a serious and sometimes frightening matter. A DUI conviction can impact your job, your finances, and your family. It is imperative that your charge is resolved favorably, efficiently, and effectively to protect your livelihood. If handled improperly, a DUI charge can turn a lapse in judgment or an error in law-enforcement into a life-altering conviction.

People deserve an opportunity to show that a singular mistake does not justify a harsh, lasting punishment. Thus, if you have been charged with a DUI, it is important that you act quickly to protect your freedom.

 

Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce

Divorce can either be contested or uncontested. Contested divorce is for those who have issues with the divorce itself or its terms, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of assets and liabilities. Uncontested divorce is for those who agree on the divorce itself and its terms.

Contesting a divorce may be necessary, as it can affect your life in terms of spousal relationship, children relationship, acquired assets, and other financial aspects. But sometimes, taking an uncontested divorce is the better choice because of its advantages.

Lower Costs
Contested divorce involves a lot of legalities, such as the maintenance and division of properties and other liabilities. For this reason, getting a lawyer and paying the appropriate fees is not out of the question. Uncontested divorce, on the other hand, can be successfully done even without the help of attorneys, minimizing your financial costs.

Faster Processes
Since uncontested divorce basically involves agreeing parties, the legal process takes less paperwork, and therefore, less time to accomplish and approve. There are also instances where a court proceeding is not required, again saving you from the financial costs of courts and lost time at work. You cannot say the same regarding contested divorce, as the disagreements require settlements and more paperwork.

Less Errors
Less paperwork means less legal matters to attend to and fewer chances of committing a mistake. Again, this makes the entire process cheaper and faster, not to mention that it prevents multiple meetings with the opposing party, which could be beneficial in the long run.

Less Hard Feelings
One of the most overlooked benefits of uncontested divorce is the fact that it often ends up with less hard feelings between the parties involved, because of the lack of disagreements in assets and liabilities. According to the website of the Austin divorce attorneys of Kirker Davis LLP, contested divorces can be emotionally taxing. Couples may feel the need to “win” the divorce as an act of anger or revenge, resulting into lengthy and expensive proceedings.

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Errors a Truck Driver can Commit that Could Result in a Truck Accident

A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveals that majority of truck accidents are due to errors committed by drivers of semi-trucks, also called 18-wheelers or big rigs. This result is in contrast with other studies which say that more than 50% of the 500,000 truck accidents in the U.S. are due to the fault of drivers of passenger cars.

According to the FMCSA, the most common errors committed by truck drivers include fatigue; driving beyond the set speed limit, driving too fast for road conditions; drivers impaired due to use of prescription or over-the-counter-drugs; overspeeding; unfamiliarity with the road; lack of experience in operating a semi-truck; lack of focus on the road; distracted driving; improper attachment of trailer; failure to check “no-zone” areas or blind spots; failure to make sure that truck brakes are in good working condition; and, depowering of the front brakes to lessen wear and tear of tires and breaks. All these errors lead to many other things that directly affect the capability of truck drivers to react to danger correctly and on time.

In 2013, there were 3,500 fatal large truck accidents. These accidents resulted to the death of 570 truck drivers; other fatalities were drivers of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Non-fatal injuries, on the other hand, exceed more than a hundred thousand.

After a trucking company does everything to ensure that both the vehicle and driver have all the necessary things for a workload to be done and completed safely, the responsibility for safe conduct shifts to the truck driver. Unfortunately, some drivers fail to take this responsibility seriously and cause catastrophic and preventable accidents as a result.

Any failure to be aware of their surroundings or their limitations may result in a trucker causing a life-threatening accident. Due to this, truckers should be aware of all the inherent risks of their vehicle and know just how quickly their negligence or recklessness can become dangerous. Those hurt in a trucking accident, on the other hand, may find it necessary to pursue legal action against the liable driver or his/her employer to pursue compensation.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim can be filed so that the family of the deceased can recover damages due to the untimely death of their loved one. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, the sudden death of a loved one can have a huge effect on various circumstances in the lives of the survivor. However, the law has put certain restrictions on who can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages.

In the olden days, filing a case against someone in a civil court for the death of another individual was not allowed. Although the defendant could still be put to jail, the family of the deceased could not recover damages. As a result, the perpetrator of the killing was in better shape financially if the victim dies either right after getting injured or any time during the trial.

Times have changed even in the filing of a lawsuit against the perpetrator of the crime. Now, every state has laws that superseded the harsh nature of the old rule. Current laws now allow family members to file a wrongful death case.

Current wrongful death statutes are based on two systems namely the Lord Campbell System and the Loss-To-Estate System. Let us briefly discuss each element of the system:

The Lord Campbell System

Patterned after the Lord Campbell Act of 1846, a wrongful death claim can be filed by a designated beneficiary specified by the statute, based on relationship to the deceased. For example, the surviving spouse can be declared as the statutory beneficiary. Only those identified shall be allowed to exercise the right to sue.

The Loss-To-Estate System

In this system, a personal representative of the estate is allowed to file a lawsuit. While the chosen representative can file the suit under their own name, the proceeds of the case shall first be subjected to a trust fund for distribution to designated beneficiaries. The amount of losses will vary from one state to another.