Across the United States, there is a starting number of drunk driving accidents that occur each year. Although drivers are aware of the serious consequences that can come from driving while intoxicated, this does not prevent many people from driving even when they are over the legal alcohol limit. Due to the high number of injuries and deaths that occur each year as a result of drunk driving, many states are facing complaints that they do not take drunk driving seriously and that the consequences for driving drunk are too lax. However, according to a recent article by My San Antonio, Texas has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the country.
Texas has ranked as the 13th toughest state for DWI charges, due to the severe penalties these drivers face and the significant number of prevention tactics in place across the state. In July of 2017 alone, Bexar County saw 43 DWI arrests according to country records. This number increases the number of DWI arrests in the county to 355 in the first half of 2017. For just one county in the entire state of Texas, this is a significant number of people who are facing consequences for their reckless actions. In all of 2016, there 590 DWI arrests in the county, and 2017 numbers indicate that the area is on track to meet or beat their previous year’s DWI arrest numbers. This indicates the county’s dedication to catching and penalizing individuals who engage in drunk driving. Across Texas, the penalties for a DWI arrest are severe and will result in a minimum of three days in jail after a first offense and a minimum of 30 days in jail after a second. Additionally, Texas is the only state where prior convictions will always be considered in future sentencing, no matter the length of time between arrests. Although Texas does not have any minimum fines associated with DWI arrests, drunk drivers will still face a significant financial cost, as insurance rates increase on average 44% after a DWI. With these penalties in place, Texas is working to end the number of serious accidents caused by drunk driving.
Although strict penalties are not a perfect solution to end drunk driving, they are an important step in the process. All states across the nation should require penalties at least as strict as those that Texas has in place, in order to discourage people from driving drunk. Although not all accidents can be prevented, stopping people from driving while intoxicated can prevent a large percentage. No one should have to face the physical or emotional losses that come from a serious accident.
Fortunately, individuals and family members harmed by a drunk driving accident can take action to help manage their financial losses. Texas attorneys, such as the Chris Mayo Law Firm, can help individuals file a lawsuit and receive compensation for their losses. Although this cannot end the pain or devastation from a car accident, it is an important starting place for many families.
In late May, tragedy struck Point Pleasant, NJ as contestants were preparing for the Jersey Shore Grand Prix. During one of the preliminary events, two boats crashed, leaving one dead and two severely injured.
The crash occurred as two boats took the first turn of the course. One boat, dubbed the “Repeat Offender” by owner James Byrne, crossed directly in front of another boat, causing the two to collide. The other boat, operated by brothers Peter and Richard Smith, passed over the top of Byrne’s boat, crushing him beneath. Both brothers were ejected into the water as their vessel later sank, but both refused medical treatment immediately after the incident.
The crash was afterwards investigated by authorities in Ocean County, who now say that they won’t file criminal charges against the two surviving boaters. They do, however, plan to continue their investigation of the collision to prevent similar catastrophes in the future. The “Repeat Offender” will be inspected by mechanics to determine whether any malfunctions occurred, but experts observe that the crash was likely unrelated to technical malfunctions. When combined, speed and choppy waves can create dangerous conditions that make vehicles difficult to control.
Though charges weren’t filed in this instance, the Houston offshore accidents attorneys at Williams Kherkher explain that victims can often claim compensation for injuries sustained on the water. Thanks to the Jones Act of 1920, “qualified sailors” who have been involved in accidents or become sick while performing their duties are eligible to recover compensation from their employers. If you have been injured on the water, it’s important to contact an offshore accident lawyer, who can tell you whether your case falls within the bounds of the Jones Act.
Insurance is a business after all, so it is not surprising that insurance companies will do everything they can to minimize the money they put out and maximize the money they put in. So, they may deny claims, and there are instances where even legitimate claims are denied. This can be a moral and legal issue, but that is for another article.
According to the website of Fields Disability, it is possible to make an appeal, so the insurance company can reconsider its decision of denying your claim. But before making an appeal, it is important to know your rights as a person who is claiming for long-term disability coverage.
Right to get a copy of your insurance policy
You and your employer or insurance company have agreed upon on an insurance policy, indicating the terms and conditions of the insurance, such as what constitute as a disability and what doesn’t. It is important to get a copy of this insurance policy so you can know what aspects of your claim you can improve so your claim will be more viable.
Right to check your medical records
Of course, one of the most important things in a long-term disability insurance claim is evidence that you are actually disabled. You have the right to take a look at your medical records, such as X-rays, MRI’s, reports regarding emergencies, medications, surgeries, and other documents that may bolster your claim. This is because there is a chance that the medical professional and insurance company has missed a significant part of your medical condition, resulting into the denial of your claim.
Right to check your file in the insurance company
If your claim has been denied, you can go to the insurance company and request for a copy of your claim document and their denial letter, so you can better pinpoint the parts where the denial may have risen from. This way, you can specifically target these parts for improvement to better your chances of being granted coverage.
Right to appeal the denial of your claim
This is arguably the most important right you have as a long-term disability insurance claimant. Whether your claim is weak or strong, you have the right to appeal to the insurance company to reconsider their decision to deny your claim. Yes, this can actually change things, especially if you exercise your other rights and improve your claim.
Solicitation of a minor, or child enticement, is the deliberate persuasion, enticement or invitation of a a person who is below the age of 16, to enter a home, a vehicle, an office, or any form of dwelling for the purpose of engaging in a sexual activity (such as fondling, molestation, sodomy, or sexual assault) or to have sexual intercourse. The mere attempt to solicit or entice a child can also result to solicitation charges even though the offense is actually never getting carried out.
Many states prosecute sex crimes committed on minors very aggressively. Besides possibly mandating a criminal to register as a sex offender (for the rest of his/her life), anyone convicted can also face up to 30 years imprisonment and fines of up to $100,000.
Time in jail and cost of fines will significantly increase if solicitation of a minor is charged at the federal level. According to the United States Department of Justice, Section 2422(a) and (b) of Title 18 of the United States Code, solicitation of a minor can be charged on:
- “Whoever knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual to travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, to engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both;” and,
- “Whoever, using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years, to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 10 years or for life.”
Upon release from federal prison, if a convicted felon fails to register as a sex offender, he/she could be charged with a separate crime that carries up to 10 years imprisonment and considerable fines.
As explained in the website of the law firm Horst Law, “Sexual crimes involving children almost always have heavy criminal implications and if a person accused of solicitation of a minor or other sexual offense does not start building a defense immediately, the chance they will face serious criminal punishments rises significantly. Any sex crime is considered a felony and with that entails the possibility of jail time. The official level of a solicitation of a minor offense often varies with what the accused was trying to solicit from the minor. In many instances, the level of felony charged will be one degree lower than that of the crime being solicited. Some of the most common criminal penalties that people accused of solicitation of a minor face include:
- Soliciting a minor to observe sexual conduct – Fines ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, and jail time between eight to 30 years.
- Aggravated sexual exploitation – Fines ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, and jail time between eight and 30 years.
Each picture, performance, or sexual request can signify a separate count of solicitation of a minor. As a result, the penalties for child sex abuse can quickly stack up if not adequately defended against.”
When we decide to get married, we aspire to make it work and perfect. Just like in fairy tales, our objective is to “live happily ever after.” But like what they say there is no such thing as perfect. While we want to make our married life work, there will come a time when things will not go well. Most couples who still believe that they can still fix their marriage end up making things worse.
Just because you cannot fix your relationship does not mean it is beyond repair. It only means that no one wants to give in and you are fixing it based on what you want. If your spouse is no longer happy, there is a relationship problem that you need to fix. According to the website of Kathleen Snyder, relationship struggles can be difficult for couples to handle. This is where a marriage counselor can help you.Seeking the help of a marriage counselor can work wonders for the married couples. Figures from Statistics Brain revealed the following numbers:
- 65% of couples reported significant improvement after seeing a marriage counselor
- 75% of couples believe that they are “better off” after a counseling session
- 50 percent of couples still maintain their improved relationship two years after counseling
- 22% of couples who attended marriage counseling cite love for each other as their reason for attendance while 19% say that they do not communicate well
- Married couple would attend an average of 20 sessions in marriage counseling
But when is the proper time to get into marriage counseling? Here are some of the signs that you need the help of a relationship professional:
- When there is no communication. In reality, the challenge in most relationships is the lack of communication. When couples do not talk, it is usually hard to get back in the right direction. A counselor can device new ways for the people to communicate
- When there is communication but always negative. When the talking is in the negative, your spouse would feel that they are being judged, shamed, disregarded, or insecure. When the married couple talks in the negative, the communication turns into emotional abuse
- When you are afraid to open up. When there is an issue that you need to communicate with your spouse but you just cannot do it, it is really a problem. A marriage counselor can help you clear things up with your spouse.
- When affection is taken as a punishment. When you give your spouse the silent treatment and vice versa, it only shows imbalance in your relationship.
- When you are considering or already having an affair. Contemplating about having an affair shows that you are looking for something different from your current relationship. While survival is still possible even after the affair, it is best to nip it in the bud right away. As long as you and your partner are committed to working things out, the marriage can still be saved.
- When you are living independent from each other. When you and your partner become more like roommates than a married couple. The lack of communication, intimacy, and the feeling of just “co-existing” is a tell tale sign that something is wrong with your relationship and you need a professional to bring back the spark in your relationship.
Marriage is not like a grocery item that you can easily return and replace with another item. It is a life long commitment. For any signs of trouble, the couple needs to work things out or if they cannot, a marriage counselor can help them patch things up.