Hardship License: DUI Conditions

Having your license get suspended is pretty common after getting a DUI. However, DUI suspensions can last for quite some time. What if you need some limited use of your car in the meantime? This is where a hardship license comes in. These temporary licenses can help you still get through the day-to-day while your license is suspended…

Hardship License: Purpose and Conditions

What they do

A hardship license gives a driver with a suspended license temporary driving privileges. Usually, this is due to the driver needing to use their car to get to places like work, school, or medical care. A court or the DMV can also grant one if the driver needs to attend court-ordered treatments or community service.

However, these licenses don’t restore all driving privileges. They are often quite strict about what times the person can drive and where they can go. Violations can be quite costly and could lead to jail time.

Obtaining a license

To obtain a hardship license, a driver must first apply and request a hearing. If the judge grants a hearing, then the driver has to make a case for why they should receive a temporary driving privilege. While the prosecutor’s office can make an argument against this, it ultimately comes down to the judge’s decision.

However, before a hearing can happen, a driver should make sure they’re eligible for a hardship license. There are a few general requirements drivers should keep in mind. Usually, if the driver had a valid license at the time of their DUI, had no recent prior or repeat DUI offenses, and have taken a substance abuse assessment, then they can file for one.

Additional requirements

There are some additional requirements for a hardship license for “high-risk” drivers. These are drivers whose BAC was at .15% or higher during their DUI offense. For example, their limited driving privileges might not begin until 45 days after their conviction.

These drivers might also have to install an ignition interlock device on their cars as well. These devices require a driver to blow into them to check their BAC levels before their car will start. Many of these devices will prevent the car from starting if a driver’s BAC is at .01% or .02%.

Hangover Prevention: Avoiding The Aches

One of the more painful side-effects of drinking is the hangover. Hangovers and their symptoms can make you spend the entire day resting and trying to find relief. However, there are steps for hangover prevention that you can take to help reduce the risk of experiencing these issues…

Hangover Prevention: Drinking Smart 

Drink in moderation

This method for hangover prevention is the most-straightforward, yet most effective one out there. Hangovers are the result of drinking too much and your body trying to process all of the alcohol. Therefore, watching your drinking will reduce your hangover risks considerably.

One thing you can do is set a limit for the amount of drinks you’ll have in a night. That way, you can still enjoy some drinks while not going overboard. Once you reach your limit, don’t drink anymore and instead try to stay hydrated.

Drink plenty of fluids

One of the main causes of hangovers is not drinking enough fluids alongside your alcohol. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on your body, and the more you drink the more dehydrated you’ll be. That’s why hangover prevention has a large emphasis on staying hydrated.

Even before you start drinking, try to have a glass of water or two. Then, space out your drinks with some water in-between. Even before you go to sleep, try to have one more glass of water for extra measure. Proper hydration goes a long way in helping to prevent hangovers.

Eat beforehand

One should always try to avoid drinking on an empty stomach. Your stomach absorbs alcohol faster when you haven’t been eating. Combine this with feeling like you can drink more because you aren’t “full”, and you can quickly be on the road for a hangover.

Eating before drinking is a good idea for hangover prevention. This will help the alcohol be absorbed slower by your body. Additionally, this will also help you limit your drinking.

Hangover prevention is mostly about being aware of your drinking. After all, hangovers come about due to drinking past your limits. Taking some of these preventative measures can help you enjoy your drinking while not suffering from the hangover negatives.

Children-Involved DUI’s

Many people are extra cautious when their children are in the car. Most won’t even have a sip of alcohol if they have to drive their children home after. But what happens if you get pulled over for driving under the influence and your children are in the car? Children-involved DUI’s are much more severe than a regular DUI. Not only are you endangering yourself and others on the road, you are endangering minors within the vehicle.

Children-Involved DUI’s: How This Changes Things

What happens?

Usually, the presence of a minor will severely increase your fines. Depending on if its your first offense or not, your DUI may be considered a felony (rather than a misdemeanor). However, even if it is your first and a child is in the car, your charge could be a felony. Children-involved DUI’s are taken very seriously. In addition to higher fines, you could also serve a longer sentence behind bars.

What’s a felony DUI?

Any felony can leave a deep mark on a record. A misdemeanor DUI and a felony DUI are totally different. Children-involved DUI’s usually result in a felony charge. Felonies can make it difficult (sometimes impossible) to get certain jobs or living spaces. While misdemeanors can be overlooked by some employers, felonies usually cannot.

Is that it?

No. Not only will you potentially face a felony charge, the judge and jury will change their views once they find out there were children in the car. Children-involved DUI’s make it difficult for defense tactics, which make plea bargaining tactics more difficult. Judges and juries will not be willing to give second chances for those who involve children in poor decisions.

In conclusion, children-involved DUI’s are more serious than others because of the severity and difficulty to defend. They can include other charges, like child endangerment. These charges can affect many aspects of your life. If you have shared custody or sole custody, a child endangerment charge can cost you your custody agreement. If you are in this situation, seek help from your attorney.

New Year’s Eve Safety: Drunk Driving

New Year’s Eve is a time of renewal, rejoice, and celebration. In fact, on this night more than any other— people come out in the masses to ring in the new year and drink with their friends. However, just like any other night of the year— more people out drinking, means more potential drunk drivers on the road. While many people will account for their getting home plans, or even rent a hotel— many others do not.​When you combine this issue with that of not being able to find a ride— or one that costs hundreds of dollars to cross town, driving might feel like an only option to some.According to SafeAuto.com, there are 71% more drug and alcohol-related crashes between New Year’s Eve evening, and New Year’s Day morning.

New Year’s Eve Safety: Drunk Driving

Drunk driving deaths have come down in the last forty years, according to some statistics. However, we see and hear about these accidents every day. Someone thought they were fine to drive, or even knew they weren’t— and took the risk. Next thing you know, that person is a story on the news, lost to their family, or at the very lest— spending the next ten years with a DUI on their record.

Make transportation plans before any other plans

The key to a safe New Year’s Eve, is basing your plans around getting home, or sleeping somewhere. Stay with a friend who lives within walking distance of your celebration spot. Or, designate a driver who will honor their word and not drink. Start your New Year’s prep by tackling the most important part of your plan— safe transport.

Furthermore, if you know you’ll have to get a ride home— set money aside throughout the year to cover it. An Uber or Lyft home on NYE is going to be pricy. But, if you know that, and prepare for that price throughout the year, you’ll be ready to pay and not sweat it as you head towards your own bed.

Drunk driving is easy to avoid…

A large misconception that many people have, is that they had to drink and drive. Getting home is important, there’s no ride in site, and you live too far away to leave your car. While all of these reasons can seem justified in the moment, they’ll feel silly when you’re facing injury, DUI, or a fatal accident.

New Year’s Eve is meant to be a joyous start to a new year. A fresh start, and a time for fun with friends. Don’t soil that good time by riding in 2019 from the back of a police car…

Drug-Impaired Driving: Alternative DUI’s

Drug-impaired driving can be very dangerous. Even if it’s something legal, the possible effects of the drug can make driving just too risky. As a result, it’s important to know what you need to be careful about taking before getting behind the wheel of a car…

Drug-Impaired Driving: Different DUI’s

What it is

Drug-impaired driving is a very simple concept. Basically, it’s when someone is driving while under the effects of behavior-changing drugs. The effect of these drugs will usually not just put the driver at risk, but also other drivers who are also out on the road as well.

Plus, these drugs aren’t just illegal ones. Legal ones can cause just as much trouble for a driver too. For instance, 21.4 million people who were 16 or up drank alcohol before they drove. By comparison, 12.8 million people of the same age range took some kind of illicit drug before driving. However, nearly 50% of those who got into accidents tested positive for some type of drug.

How it happens

The thing about drug-impaired driving is that different drugs can have different effects. These different effects can impact your driving abilities in different ways. For instance, take something like marijuana. This drug tends to slow down reaction times, judgement, and makes it hard to judge time and distance, all key things related to driving.

On the other hand, something like cocaine can make someone aggressive, and cause them to be more reckless when driving. There’s also legal, prescribed drugs, like opioids or sedatives. Opioids (and especially their side-effects) can cause sluggishness and memory issues. Sedatives can lead to drowsiness, as well as dizziness.

Staying safe

There’s a lot of ways you can avoid drug-impaired driving. For starters, try to avoid taking any drugs with these effects if you know you need to drive later. The last thing you want is to potentially be impaired before taking a trip somewhere. Be sure to double-check the instructions on things like prescription pills in order to check if they might impact your driving ability.

Another method is to have a designated driver. Impaired drivers can’t accurately judge if they’re unable to drive safely. A designated driver, however, can get that person home safely. Don’t forget about ride-sharing apps like Uber as well!

Youth Opioid Use

When most people think about the opioid crisis, they imagine it mainly involving adults. However, youth opioid use is also a serious thing. In fact, there’s a few reasons in particular why younger people might start abusing opioids…

Youth Opioid Use: Prevailing Factors

Usage rates

In general, opioid abuse is one of the fastest growing issues in the United States. Sadly, younger people can also abuse these opioids as well. In 2016, 3.6% of those ages 12-17 had reported that they misused opioids. For those who were 18-25, this percentage was twice as high. Most of this misuse is due to prescription pills, rather than alternatives like heroin.

Fortunately, misuse rates are going down, especially for those in high school. For example, among high school seniors, abuse rates peaked in 2004 at 9.5%. By 2018, these rates had been lowered all the way to 3.4%. Still, overdose deaths are an issue; half of the 4,235 youth overdose deaths in 2015 were due to pill abuse.

Risk factors

The risks factors behind youth opioid use are both similar and different to those for adults. Chronic pain is the most common reason for youth abuse, much like with adults. For younger people, usually it’s something like a sports injury which leads to a doctor giving them an opioid prescription.

However, there are also some other unique reasons. Many younger users of opioids reported that they got their pills from close friends or relatives. In fact, those who have family members that abuse opioids are at a higher risk of abuse themselves. Also, there’s school-related factors, as kids who either struggle in school or are bullied are also at a higher risk of abuse.

Preventing abuse

There’s a number of ways to help prevent youth opioid use. For starters, pain management through medication for younger people should be cautious. Doctors have been more receptive to alternative pain treatments rather than just prescribing opioids, in order to help keep these pills out of the hands of younger people.

The home environment also plays a big role. Youth who have strong connections with their parents, and are informed of the risks these pills come with, have much lower rates of abuse. Therefore, parents should also talk to their kids about these pills to help keep them safe.

Opioid Crisis: Understanding the Origins

The opioid crisis is something which people are quite aware of these days. However, not too many people know how exactly it started. After all, things like this don’t just happen overnight. As it turns out, the history behind the crisis helps show exactly why things have gotten out-of-control today…

Opioid Crisis: Tracing The History

The origins

The origins of the opioid crisis start back in the 1990’s. During this time, drug companies were doing a lot of research into potential new painkillers. Mainly, their research was around what we now call opioids. The pitch these companies made to doctors was that these drugs were less or not at all addictive, and had no negative side effects, compared to other drugs like morphine.

This promoting meant a lot of doctors believed they were safe and were now prescribing these drugs to more and more people. Suddenly, you saw a whole lot more people getting prescription opioids. However, eventually it came up that these drugs weren’t just addictive, but highly so. At this point, the crisis we see today was only a matter of time.

How it’s different

Some people are wonder how exactly the opioid crisis differs from previous drugs of the past, like the crack epidemic. Mainly, the big thing is that these drugs are legal. A person could (and still can) go to their doctor and get a prescription of these pills for a wide variety of things. This makes them widely available to nearly anyone, increasing the number of addictions.

Plus, most people aren’t even aware that they’re developing a dependency on the drugs. It’s only once their prescription ends, and withdrawal symptoms set in, that they realize what’s happened. It’s at this point where they may seek out more of these drugs, or even more powerful, illegal drugs like heroin.

What we see today

These days, the opioid crisis is in what researchers call the third wave. The first was the mass prescriptions in the 1990’s, and the second was the rise in heroin use from opioid users in the early 2010’s. However, the third wave is about the recent rise in synthetic drugs like fentanyl. Drugs like these are responsible for the highest rise in opioid-related deaths.