April 12, 2014

Pedestrian Entered Path of Pickup: DUI Charges Follow

Getting behind the wheel is dangerous, not only because you can be held accountable for what you do, but you can also be charged unfairly for what others do. A recent accident and criminal case sheds light on the potential dangers of drunk driving charges, as one drunk man entered into the path of a pickup truck. Now the driver is facing DUI and homicide charges. Was the accident preventable? Was it the driver’s fault if the pedestrian was intoxicated? In the majority of these cases, the driver will be held responsible for being under the influence and could face additional charges and penalties arising from any injuries or wrongful death.

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When alcohol is involved, it is often not just the driver who is careless. Drunk pedestrians, or other drunk motorists can pose additional threats. This can make a complicated criminal or personal injury case when more than one drunk person is involved in an accident. Our Birmingham drunk driving attorneys are committed to helping individuals who are charged with drunk driving protect their rights in the event of an accident. We understand the complexity of these cases and are dedicated to ensuring that defendants have experienced legal representation in court.

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April 8, 2014

Are Alcohol Detection Bracelets Reliable?

Alcohol monitoring bracelets are often given to individuals on probation or who have been previously charged with drunk driving. They have also been used in cases of domestic violence where alcohol has played a role or cases where alcohol abuse was related to the underlying offense. If a bracelet activates in response to alcohol, the individual could be charged and face additional penalties. But are these bracelets reliable? Is there a way to challenge the results of an alcohol detection bracelet?

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The SCRAMx (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) is used by courts in 48 states to monitor offenders who suffer from alcohol related problems. According to court statements, the bracelets use “transdermal technology” to detect alcohol. A pump in the bracelet is able to draw in sweat vapors to determine if the wearer has been drinking. This is done every 30 minutes to prevent drinking by the user. The results are then sent to a monitoring center. Our Birmingham drunk driving defense attorneys are dedicated to providing strategic defense to DUI defendants. We are also abreast of legal issues that impact the lives of our clients and those charged with DUI throughout the state.

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April 4, 2014

Be Wary of New DUI “Oh Crap App”

Phone apps are a modern day solution to any number of problems—what should you do if you get into a car accident, tracking finances or maintaining diet goals. While apps can be beneficial, they should not be the end all source to answer your questions, especially when criminal charges are at stake. A new phone application known as the “Oh Crap App” purports to help drivers when they are pulled over for drunk driving. While it may seem compelling to turn to your phone for answers, be wary of any advice coming from a generic application.

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Remember that every situation is unique and the charges you face will vary depending on the circumstances of your arrest, including where the arrest took place, whether or not you had prior charges, and whether there were any aggravating circumstances, such as a car accident or a child in your vehicle. Our Birmingham drunk driving defense attorneys are dedicated to helping clients protect their rights in the event of a DUI arrest. We are also dedicated to keeping Alabama residents informed of legal developments and issues related to drinking and driving.

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March 26, 2014

"Under Age, Under Arrest" Message Delivered to AL Campuses

Underage drinking is illegal. Underage drinking and driving can lead to even more serious charges, penalties, and a criminal record. For the thousands of college students who get caught underage drinking every year, a number of them will also be faced with a DUI. Now, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) is seeking to reduce the amount of underage drinking and binge drinking throughout the state. The public awareness campaign is intended to inform parents and teens about the potential health and legal consequences of getting caught drinking, or drinking and driving.
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The ABC Board has traveled to Alabama colleges with the message, “Under Age, Under Arrest,” hoping to remind parents and teens that underage drinking and drinking and driving are taken seriously under the law. Our Birmingham drunk driving defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals who have been charged with drinking and driving. We understand the serious nature of a drinking and driving offense and will take every necessary step to defeat the charges against you. For underage defendants, we will take additional measures to reduce the impact of a drinking and driving record that could limit opportunities to employment or education.

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March 25, 2014

Marijuana Legalization and Driving High in Alabama

Nationwide, the legalization of marijuana is gaining popularity. Colorado and Washington states have already legalized some forms of sale and possession for personal use. While advocates of legalization see the trend spreading to other states, law enforcement agencies and officers associate recreational use of pot with “driving” high. As the majority of Americans support legalization, Alabama legislators and public safety advocates are warning of the potential of “stoned” drivers.

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Despite this concern, health officials and law enforcement agencies do not have the data to support fear mongering. In the state of Alabama, drivers can be charged for driving under the influence; however, proving that a driver has been smoking weed or how much to be incapacitated is a challenge. Our Birmingham drunk driving attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients arrested and charged with DUI. Cases involving prescription drug use or marijuana should be reviewed by an experienced advocate who can help determine whether charges are warranted or supported by law.

According to an Alabama Public Radio report, most drivers do not see the use of pot as a significant inhibitor of motor skills. Comparatively, pot smoking and getting behind the wheel is no comparison to drinking and driving. Still, safety advocates are concerned that drivers will ignore the potential dangers of “driving high.” Some urge laws and penalties just as strong for pot smokers are they are for drunk drivers.

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March 21, 2014

5 Ways to Prevent a DUI in Alabama

No one plans on getting a DUI, but you can protect yourself and prevent steps to avoid DUI charges. For first-time DUI offenders, charges may come after a few drinks after work, after a family dinner, or even when driving very short distances. While you may have thought you were okay to drive, you could be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Once arrested and charged, you will face the potential of penalties, loss of license, jail time and a criminal record. Our Birmingham DUI defense lawyers are committed to helping our clients protect their rights in the wake of DUI charges.
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Alabama is aggressive when it comes to enforcing DUI laws. Here are 5 ways you can protect yourself against the legal consequences of an arrest and conviction:

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March 15, 2014

DUI Arrest After a Car Accident in Alabama

Any DUI arrest and subsequent criminal charges will have serious consequences for the accused. Penalties and charges will increase for repeat offenders.

A DUI driver will also undoubtedly face additional charges and penalties when the DUI resulted in an accident, causing property damage or injury to another person. The most serious DUI cases involving the death of another can net the offender years behind bars. .

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Every state has its own laws involving drinking and driving and associated charges for cases involving accident or injury. Our Birmingham DUI lawyers have experience in handling even the most complex DUI cases. In any DUI case, the circumstances vary and should be reviewed by an attorney who has handled similar cases in the past. The exact details of your arrest, the evidence upon which it was based and any procedural details could give you leverage in your defense. When your case involves injury or a car accident, it is extremely important to have a clear understanding of your rights and the potential consequences that you may face.

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March 15, 2014

St. Patrick's Day DUI Defense

Some holidays are associated with heavy partying—New Year’s, Fourth of July, and St. Patrick’s Day, to name a few. On these holidays and through the holiday weekend, police departments are known to set up check points to stop and charge alleged drunk drivers. This St. Patrick’s Day, Huntsville police arrested five drivers, impounded six vehicles and issued 78 citations. It is likely that drivers throughout the state were aggressively targeted on St. Patrick’s Day, as well. While law enforcement agencies see stop points as an effective way to curb drinking and driving, they can also infringe on the rights of drivers and the accused.
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Throughout Alabama, law enforcement agencies have taken more aggressive action to stop drinking and driving. This means more surveillance, tracking, check points, stops and eventually arrests. For the accused, the process can be overwhelming, even surprising, especially if drivers have not faced criminal charges previously. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys understand the challenges faced by DUI defendants. We are also committed to helping those arrested for DUI minimize charges and penalties.

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March 11, 2014

Study: Keeping Legal Age at 21 Saves Lives

Nationwide, the legal drinking age remains at 21, despite a high number of high school and college students who ignore state laws. Some argue that limiting access to alcohol can be repressive, leading to over-consumption, binge-drinking, accidents and other alcohol-related deaths - particularly those caused by DUI. The argument continues that by reducing the drinking age to 18 in the U.S., as it is in most European countries, we could significantly reduce the number of alcohol-related injuries and car accidents.

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However, new evidence published by Boston University and highlighted in an Alabama Public Radio segment indicates that keeping the legal drinking age at 21 reduces drunk driving crashes and underage drinking. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys are committed to providing informed and aggressive defense to individuals charged with DUI. We also stay abreast of trends in Alabama and nationwide that could impact drinking laws and DUI liability.

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March 5, 2014

Alabama Spring Break: Preventing DUI

The Southeastern region of the United States is a popular destination for spring breakers. While many will head to Florida beaches, there will be just as many parties along the coast and throughout Alabama. Whether you are a resident of Alabama or passing through on your way to Florida, keep in mind that spring break is high-time for DUI arrests.

Officers throughout the state and on the interstate are prepared to stop drunk drivers throughout the area, especially where there are known party destinations, such as the Gulf and shoreline.

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Spring break is viewed by many college students as a sort of rite of passage, as they take a break from their studies and head to the beach before the end of the semester. Historically, these trips are associated with heavy drinking, drinking games, binge drinking and all-night parties. While the loss of inhibitions gives students and young people the chance to let loose, it is also a dangerous combination that could result in DUI or worse, alcohol-related accidents.

Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys are committed to protecting individuals who have been arrested and charged with DUI. We also know the best way to prevent a DUI is not get behind the wheel if you are too intoxicated. For parents and spring breakers alike, here are a few tips to prevent DUI this season:

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March 1, 2014

Prescription Drug Use and Alabama DUI

Prescription drug abuse is garnering more attention in Alabama and nationwide. The risks of prescription drug addiction and abuse are widely documented, ranging from driving under the influence, escalation to heroin use, and overdose. For individuals who are prescribed heavy painkillers, including Oxycontin, Perocet, and Vicodin, the need for the drug may quickly evolve into dependency and addiction. This year, the National Governors Association (NGA) is highly focused on findings from the Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction Policy Academy in an effort to reduce the personal health and criminal consequences of prescription drug abuse.

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According to the report, prescription drug abuse is the fastest- growing drug problem in the United States. It is the second most common form of drug abuse, second only to marijuana use. Testing for the exact effect of prescription drug use while behind the wheel can be difficult. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys are experienced with the legal problems involving drunk driving and driving while on prescription medication. In addition to providing counsel to our clients, we are also abreast of the legal issues and trends in drug use that can impact criminal arrests and investigations.

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February 28, 2014

Moving On After a DUI Charge

Getting arrested and charged with DUI may lead to months, even years of personal, financial, and professional stress. A conviction could result in loss of license, extensive fines, and a criminal record. While a DUI charge can have lasting consequences, it is important to be proactive from the outset so that you can move one with minimal impact. If you have already taken the first step of consulting with an experienced advocate to protect your rights in the criminal process, you can focus on moving forward after a DUI.

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DUI penalties can start the night you are arrested and follow you for years. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys understand the stress and burden of a DUI charge and conviction. While our priority is minimizing penalties and defending against a DUI conviction, we are also focused on helping our clients navigate the post-conviction process. We are experienced in alternative sentencing options and can help first-time or repeat offenders reduce penalties and get back on their feet after a DUI charge.

When facing DUI charges, keep in mind that you may be slapped with a hefty fine and your driving privileges may have already been restricted. A conviction may result in a suspended license or be driving with an interlock ignition device. You could also be facing higher insurance premiums and jail time. Regardless of the stiff penalties you have endured or are facing, you should avoid “giving up” or panicking. Knowing your rights can help you pick up the pieces and move forward after a DUI arrest.

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