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Hot Springs Arkansas Legal Blog

Field sobriety test accuracy rates

If you are like most people who live in Arkansas, you have probably heard about some tests that are administered by police officers when they suspect a driver might be drunk. These tests, called field sobriety tests, require people to do things like balance on one leg or walk in a line. Understanding what is involved in these tests and how accurate they really are is important for any driver in the state.

As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, some people might think these tests are used to prove that a driver is intoxicated but that is not true. Instead, these tests are used to support the possibility that a driver is impaired. This support then allows an officer to legally place the driver under arrest. They are akin to probable cause in other types of criminal cases.

Batesville collision kills one, injures another

Most might assume that when the person who causes a car accident in Hot Springs dies from injuries sustained in it, the whole affair is over. No one may be around to assign liability to, so what is the point in pursuing the case other than to be vindictive. Yet what is lost in this assumption is that car accidents often involve multiple people, and the actions of a decedent may leave many facing expenses that cannot adequately be covered by compensation from an insurance company. What then are accident victims to do? 

A recent crash that occurred in Batesville may demonstrate how people can be left needing to pursue compensation from one who is no longer around to provide it. A young man is currently being treated for injuries sustained when the pickup truck he was driving in was hit by another vehicle. The truck was traveling northbound on Arkansas Highway 233 when a car suddenly veered from the southbound lanes right into its path. The car then struck the truck before coming to a stop in a ditch. Authorities are still trying to discover what caused the woman who was driving the car to lose control. She was killed in the collision. The condition of the driver of the truck was not reported. 

What exactly is a whiplash injury?

If you become an Arkansas car crash victim, particularly if another motorist rear-ends your car, you risk receiving a whiplash injury. Spine-Health.com explains that a whiplash occurs when your head and neck jerk back and forth as a result of the impact of the other car hitting you. This violent motion puts substantial strain on your cervical spine.

While you can often recover from a whiplash injury, also known as cervical acceleration-deceleration syndrome or CAD, within three months of your accident, it also could cause you long-term or even lifetime discomfort including the following:

  • Pain in your neck, ranging from mild to excruciating
  • Stiffness in your neck
  • Reduced range of motion of your neck and head
  • Pain in your shoulders and/or upper back
  • Severe persistent headaches
  • Tingling, weakness or numbness in your shoulders or arms

Is your spouse's internet addiction ruining your marriage?

When you married your spouse, you may have had a vision of what your life together would be like. That may have included sharing common interests, taking trips together and engaging in making plans for your future. You undoubtedly feel lonely in your marriage if those dreams have not materialized. For many in Arkansas and elsewhere, that loneliness often relates to a spouse's addiction to drugs or alcohol. For you, it may be different.

You may be among a growing number of spouses who feel technology has played a role in the destruction of their marriages. If your spouse is constantly on the computer or staring at a handheld device, you may even feel that he or she has an addiction to the internet.

How can I receive treatment for alcohol issues?

If you’ve recently been charged with a DWI in Arkansas, your legal issues may be only the beginning of your problems. You may have an alcohol abuse problem, which will not only cause legal trouble but can also strain interpersonal relationships, create problems at work, and even lead to significant health effects. WebMD explains your different treatment options in this case, which can be your first step towards sobriety.  

Therapy

How can drivers be distracted?

Mention "distracted driving," and most in Hot Springs will likely tell you that it refers to one who is using a cell phone while driving (either by texting or holding the handset to take a call). Yet what few seem to realize is that there is actually a wide range of activities that can cause distracted driving. The trouble is that most view them as acts of second nature that requires so little thought that they are not distracting. In reality, any activity that takes your attention away from the road is distracting. 

A joint research effort between The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Auto Alliance has helped to develop general definitions for distracted driving. Their efforts have identified the following three types of driving distractions: 

  • Manual
  • Visual 
  • Cognitive

Preliminary alcohol screenings explained

The common image that comes to mind when people in Hot Springs contemplate the term "field sobriety tests" is likely that of one blowing into a handheld breath testing device. Yet do such devices themselves constitute field sobriety tests, or do they meet the standard if chemical testing (which everyone is required to submit to due to the state's implied consent law)? The answer is that such a test technically does not qualify as either. 

In order to comprehend just how measuring BAC through a breath sample works, one must first understand the common misuse of the word "breathalyzer." To most, breathalyzer is name applied to any device that measures one's breath. In reality, there are two different types of BAC testing involving breath. Chemical testing is done using advanced equipment (used in a controlled environment) to obtain a precise blood-alcohol concentration. While the equipment used to conduct such testing is what technically qualifies as a breathalyzer, that is typically not its actual name or even brand name (per the Arkansas Department of Health, the actual device approved for chemical breath testing in the state is the Intoximeter EC/IR II). 

Hit and injured by an insured driver? Things to know

Every day, residents and visitors to the state of Arkansas suffer injuries in auto accidents. Those whose accidents are caused by insured drivers may think that getting compensation for their losses should be a piece of cake. While that should be true, sadly, it is not. Numerous individuals end up either fighting tooth and nail to get fair compensation or just give up and take what they are offered.

Why is it so hard? As a victim of an accident you are entitled to maximum relief, aren't you? Insurance is there for this purpose, isn't it? You would certainly think so, but insurance carriers are not there to take care of victims. They are businesses, which means they want to protect their investors. Insurance carriers are not always your friends when you need them.

Why does the valuation date matter in your divorce case?

Given the emotion that goes into a divorce in Hot Springs, one may easily anticipate tempers flaring over many of the aspects related to property division. You might not think that the date that your marital assets are valued is important, so long as they are valued at all. Yet as surprising as it may seem, the valuation date in a divorce case can become a hot-button issue (especially when there are a considerable amount of assets subject to appreciation and depreciation). 

How, you ask? Say your spouse runs his or her own business. At the time of your separation, business is booming. Yet dealing with the distraction caused by your divorce case (and all of the other elements associated with it) may cause him or her to neglect the company. If your divorce proceedings drag on for an extended period, by the time the date arrives to value the business assets, they may have depreciated significantly. 

Examining the issue of boating while intoxicated

Hot Springs can definitely live up to its name during the summer months, which is why this time offers the perfect opportunity for you and your family and/or friends to escape the heat by going boating. Part of relaxing out on the water might include enjoying a couple of cold drinks. Yet while you are entitled to enjoy yourself in this manner, keep in mind that you are still prohibited from operating any sort of motorcraft while intoxicated. Many of those that have come to us here at the Tapp Law Firm have learned too late that this also includes motor boats. 

When determining when you may be too drunk to driver your boat, the state applies the same standard that it does to drunk drivers. According to Section 5-65-103 of the Arkansas Code of Criminal Offenses, that standard is a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent (that limit decreases to .02 percent if you are under the age of 21). It should be known, however, that even having a BAC lower than the legal limit does not necessarily mean that you cannot be charged with boating while intoxicated. On the contrary, you could face such a charge if law enforcement officials believe that your actions are impaired to the point of you endangering others. 

Whether you need guidance through divorce, a personal injury lawsuit or any other of our practice areas, we encourage you to contact our office as soon as possible: 501-623-9800

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