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June 2019 Archives

Research shows racial disparities in the policing of drivers

From the northeast of Massachusetts to the southwest of California, there is a cynical term used within the African-American community: driving while Black. Some people joke that this in itself is an offense. While this is an exaggeration, the statement is not altogether false.

What are defenses against a horizontal gaze nystagmus test?

One way police officers determine that a driver might be drunk is to use the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. Usually, an officer will ask a Massachusetts driver to follow an object, and while the driver does so, the officer watches to see if the driver’s eyes start jerking if the driver looks off to the side. This kind of test is considered more accurate than other field sobriety tests. However, this does not mean there are not valid defenses against this test.

Can an OUI derail your career?

As you may be aware, getting an OUI, or drunk driving conviction, can affect your career and future employment. Imagine being an employer. You want to hire someone who can be at work on time, who is trustworthy and who is reliable. Then, you review the applicant's background check and see an OUI. Now, you have to question if they can get to work on time and if they are reliable. You have to question if they would perform the job safely.

Reasons people give for illegal activity

A lot of illegal activity comes with a basis around personal gain, but may be committed due to desperate circumstances. While someone robs a store in order to get something for free another person might steal to pay their family's bills. One person will break the speed limit to get to their destination faster while another races to make an important appointment. 

Compare the many defenses of drunk driving

As pretty much everyone who drives knows, driving under the influence of alcohol increases the risk of an accident. It also increases the likelihood of a run in with the law. However, in this case, "knowledge does not equal power" because people continue to drive while intoxicated and face the repercussions.

Criminal cases have 2 types of juries

In criminal cases, there are two types of juries. These each serve a different purpose but are both important to the process. It is helpful to understand the differences so that you have a better idea of what is going on.

Smartphones may come to the rescue to reduce DUI risks

Drivers in Massachusetts often find themselves facing a DUI charge despite not being a habitual drinker and generally staying within their limits. How does this happen? Sometimes a person really does have one too many. Also, some alcoholic beverages affect people differently. A person who handles their whisky well but one night decides to have vodka instead, may find that their body is more susceptible to one form of alcoholic drink than the other.

Drug charges? Plan, don't panic

Receiving drug charges can change your life overnight. If your charges result in a conviction, you may face serious fines, restrictions to your freedom and opportunities, and even jail time. The laws in many parts of the country are softening toward some substances, and Massachusetts legalized marijuana just a few years ago, but drug convictions still receive some of the harshest penalties handed out for non-violent crimes.

Can supervised experiments with alcohol prevent underage DUIs?

Like many other states, underage drinking is a problem in Massachusetts. Many high school and college students consider binge drinking a rite of passage as they mature from teenagers to adults. This type of thinking has led to reckless and irresponsible behavior at parties and behind the wheel. But is restriction always the best way for you to protect minors from the responsibilities they will have when they can legally drink? After all, adults 21 years and older get DUIs too.

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