How-to Avoid Biking While Intoxicated

This may come as a surprise to you, but you can get a DUI while riding a bike. Actually, this is the case in all states. You should not be riding a bicycle after you have been drinking because you could hurt yourself or someone else. Learn more about to you can avoid biking while intoxicated.

How-to Avoid Biking While Intoxicated: Getting Home Safely

Risks

When you have been drinking, your judgement and coordination decreases. You could get into an accident by running into something (or someone), or even falling off your bike. Additionally, you could use poor judgment and bike out into the middle of the road with oncoming traffic. On top of that, since bikers can share the roadway with vehicles, an intoxicated bike rider could be charged with a DUI.

Do not take the risk of biking while intoxicated. It is not worth risking hurting yourself or someone else, or the legal risks. The benefits certainly do not outweigh the consequences.

Watch your Limits

First, to avoid biking while intoxicated, just watch your limits when you are drinking. Know how to pace yourself if you are having more than one drink. Also, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you alternate alcohol with water, you will actually drink less because you are drinking slower. Cut yourself off way before you plan on leaving so that you are sober by the time it is time to go. Eating a heavy meal before and continuing to eat while you are having a drink will help keep you from getting as intoxicated.

Have a Backup Plan

If you do end up drinking too much, make sure to have a backup plan. If a friend drove and is sober, have them give you a ride back home. You can leave your bike in a designated bike rack. Another option is depending on the size of the vehicle, perhaps your friend can haul it in their car. If it is not too far away, you could always walk your bike back home. It is best to walk back with a friend so that you get home safely. These are all great alternatives to biking while intoxicated.

Biking while intoxicated is very dangerous. You pose a risk to yourself and others. If you must ride your bike to go out to a bar or a friend’s house, make sure to have well thought-out plans about how you will get home. Then, have someone designated to make sure you stick to your plan.

Pill Addiction

Prescription pill addiction is currently one of the most pressing issues. As a result, it’s important to know who is at the most risk of developing an addiction. Being aware of these factors can help you recognize if you or someone you know might be at a higher risk…

Pill Addiction: Who’s At Risk

Those with a presription

It might seem pretty obvious that those who have a pill prescription are also at a high risk of pill addiction. However, it usually depends on what that prescription is for. Chronic pain is the most common reason why someone will get a prescription. It’s also why so many develop additions.

As they continue to take the pills, they build up a tolerance. This leads many of them to take more pills to achieve similar effects. Eventually, this turns into a dependence. Still, doctors are becoming more aware of the risks, and are better monitoring their patients and their pill usage.

Past addictions

Those who have had addictions in the past are also at a higher risk of pill addiction. Any type of past drug addiction increases the odds of a person getting hooked onto pills. This also applies to tobacco and alcohol. Once your body has already developed one type of addiction, it’s easier to develop others.

Genes can also play a factor. Many of those who have developed addictions have a family history of addiction. This is because they’ve inherited genes which place them at a higher risk. In fact, half of a person’s likelihood of becoming addicted is due to their genes.

Young adults

Pill addiction is something that can happen to anyone. But, it’s young adults in particular who have a higher risk and where it’s most common. In fact, 12% of adults ages 18 to 25 have claimed to take pills for non-medical reasons. There’s a few reasons as to why this is.

For starters, young adults are more willing to experiment with different drugs. Many are willing to try something at least once, but that could be enough for them to start developing an addiction. Others will use them for studying or test taking, as some types will boost their ability to focus.

DUI Stop: Keeping Calm & Getting Through

If you find yourself facing a stop for drinking and driving, it’s important to know how to handle the situation. An officer may ask you several questions and want to complete tests to determine your intoxication. You’ll probably be nervous, which can make you appear more intoxicated. In order to avoid this, it’s important to know how to handle yourself at a DUI stop.

DUI Stop: What Should I Do?

Pull Over and Place Your Hands on the Wheel

First thing to do at a DUI stop is to pull over. Of course, this can seem obvious, but it’s important to make sure you do this as quickly and safely as possible. While you want to stop as soon as you see blue lights, you must also look for a safe spot. After pulling over, it’s also a good idea to place your hands on the wheel. By doing this, an officer can see both of your hands and know your intentions.

Exercise Your Rights

When facing a DUI stop, you’ll most likely be going through all kinds of emotions. Fear, anxiety, and frustration are just a few. In fact, you’ll probably be upset with yourself for being in this position. Even more so, you may feel frustrated with the officer as well.

While these feelings are normal, it’s important to remain polite, even through these emotions. Talking back, arguing or just being rude, will not help your case. Officers tend to be much more polite when you are polite to them. Therefore, it’s aways a good idea to use good manners and be respectful during a DUI stop.

Exercise Your Rights

While you want to be polite and respectful, that doesn’t mean you must do everything they say. You do have rights and that means you can politely remain silent. An officer may ask questions about where you’re coming from and what you had to drink. By answering these questions, you could incriminate yourself. So, it’s often a good idea to stay quiet when asked these types of questions during a DUI stop.

Stay Calm

Staying calm during a DUI stop is difficult but so important. When some people become nervous, the effects of anxiety can mirror intoxication signs. For example, some people’s hands and voice begin shaking when they are nervous. But shaking hands can also be a sign of drunkenness. In addition, you want to be able to think clearly, respond to the officer, know when to remain silent, and what questions to ask, if needed. So, staying calm at a DUI stop is crucial.

In short, a DUI stop can be a scary thing to face. Just remember to be polite and cooperate, but also that you have the right to stay quiet. Stay calm and inform the officers you want to speak with your attorney before answering any questions.

Adderall: Prescription Use and Abuse

Prescription drugs like Adderall can be pretty helpful for those who need them. However, they can also have some risks which are important to know about. Being better informed about drugs like these can help you see why some people might abuse them…

Adderall: What To Watch For

What it does

Adderall is a stimulant that helps improve alertness and productivity. Generally, doctors will prescribe it to help those with attention disorders, like ADHD. However, it may also be used as a form of treatment by those with narcolepsy.

Now, it might seem odd that a stimulant seemingly helps an overactive brain, like with ADHD. Still, the data has shown that the drug does help those with ADHD pay attention, focus, and reduce their impulsive behaviors. In fact, between 75-80% of those taking these pills saw a noticeable improvement!

How it’s risky

The risks with Adderall come from overuse of misuse. As the drug works, it also will release dopamine in the brain. This makes people feel good when they use it. As a result, they might start to take more of it, in order to get more of that rush.

There’s also those who will use it when they shouldn’t. For example, many students report that they’ll take the drug to help them focus or study for tests. Others claim that they like to take it before they party, as they won’t “feel” as drunk as they really are, which is quite dangerous.

Signs to watch for

The signs of Adderall dependency are very similar to those of other drugs. For example, you might feel lie you can’t function properly unless you’ve taken the drug. You might also notice you take it a lot more often, and in higher doses. Things can reach a point where getting more of the drug is more important than working or even eating!

If you’re not careful, then eventually this can lead to issues with the heart, sleeping, and mood disorders. It’s always a good idea to see a doctor if you feel like you’re becoming dependent. That way, you can get the help you need.

Underage DUI’s

Attempts to curb underage drinking are admirable. However, those younger than the legal drinking age of 21 will still find a way to get alcohol. Sometimes, it’s at a party or sometimes it’s closer to home. Either way, when you combine alcohol and driving, it’s a bad situation. Mistakes happen, and underage DUI’s become a relevant problem.

Underage DUI’s: How They’re Different

What’s the limit?

In South Carolina, all drivers can receive a conviction of a standard DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% of more. However, if you are under the age of 21, you can have a charge of an underage DUI if your BAC is .02% or more. Underage DUI’s can happen at any point over the .02% level.

Who gets to choose?

The officer who pulls the driver over will decide how to cite the person. If the BAC of the driver is over .02% but less than .08% it will depend on how impaired they seem. If it seems the driver is not impaired enough to meet the definition of “under the influence”, they will probably face charges for an underage DUI. Underage DUI’s are not the same as standard DUI’s.

What happens?

In cases of underage DUI’s, there will be no jail time or court fines. An underage DUI is handled through the Department of Motor Vehicles instead of through the criminal court. Since there is no criminal court, there is no criminal conviction. The driver stopped for a an underage DUI will have to enroll in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program.

In addition to the treatment plan recommended by the program, there are other actions. You will face license suspension for three months (six months for a second conviction) if the driver submits to a chemical test. If you refuse the chemical testing, you will automatically face license suspension for six months (and a year for the second offense).

Do I need a lawyer?

Since standard DUI’s will always go to court, most will not question the need for a lawyer. But do you need one for underage DUI’s? In short, yes. If you wish to file an objection to the administrative action, you will have a 30 day window to do so. A lawyer can help with this action.

DUI Checkpoints: Managing a Stop

DUI checkpoints are a common legal practice officers use to spot DUI offenders. These checkpoints take place randomly, usually on major roadways and late at night. In most cases, officers line both sides of the road and bring traffic to a stop to check licenses. As a driver, it can be intimidating to face a row of officers’ vehicles, asking to see your license. However, it’s best to remain calm and follow these tips for facing DUI checkpoints.

DUI Checkpoints: Remaining Calm 

Go Through the Checkpoint

​When coming up on DUI checkpoints, it’s important to go through the stop. Now, you may be thinking “well, obviously”. But when the time comes, you may want to consider turning around to avoid the stop. However, most DUI checkpoints have officers standing by, watching to for those attempting to dodge the stop. If they see you, they may stop you or follow you if you’ve already turned. Once this happens, they may take this as suspicious behavior and become more intensive with their stop.

Stay Calm

When facing DUI checkpoints, it’s important to stay calm. Officers are looking for signs of anything suspicious in your vehicle or any suspicious behavior. When we become nervous, we may start doing things out of character, like sweating, shaking, or stuttering. All of these behaviors can seem suspicious to a trained officer. So, it’s important to not be nervous and remember that this is a routine stop. You are not in trouble.

Get Out if Necessary

For the most part, DUI checkpoints consist of you showing your license, mumbling a few words, and moving on. However, if officers notice something suspicious, they may want to investigate further. In that case, it’s likely they’ll ask you to step out of your vehicle. Rather than contesting this, go ahead and comply. By refusing to get out of the vehicle, you can wind up in more trouble or facing a ticket for failing to comply.

Be Respectful

Yes, DUI checkpoints can be intimidating. Yes, they can be an annoyance you’d probably rather avoid. However, it’s still important to remain polite through the stop. Answer their appropriate questions and provide the right information, while remaining cooperative and nice. In fact, doing this will most likely keep the process running smoothly and put you on your way again quickly.

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%.

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.

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!

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.