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Hot Springs Arkansas Legal Blog

Using a breath test to determine your BAC

If you happen to be pulled over for suspicion of driving while drunk in Hot Springs, then you have to assume that a breath test is forthcoming. While you do not have to submit to preliminary alcohol screenings (e.g., breathalyzer tests), you should that you are compelled to take an actual chemical breath it is requested. Many of those who come to us here at the Tapp Law Firm facing drunk driving charges question the need for breath testing if it is your blood alcohol content that determines whether you are impaired. Can your breath actually yield a reliable BAC measurement? 

According to The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership, once you consume alcohol (or technically ethanol, which is the form of alcohol used in most drinks), it escapes through the lining of your stomach and/or intestines, where it is taken to the heart and then ultimately, the lungs. Once in the lungs, it moves from the blood through the capillaries and into the alveoli (the tiny air sacs in your lungs). It remains in the mucous lining of the alveoli as a liquid. However, as it comes in contact with the oxygen you breath in, causing some of it to vaporize into a gaseous state. That gas is then exhaled as you breathe. More liquid ethanol in the alveoli is vaporized as you breathe out to ensure its content in your lungs remains balanced. 

Dividing up a 401k

The decision to get a divorce in Hot Springs touches off a flurry of activity that must occur before a marriage is officially dissolved. Among the most complex processes (and potentially most contentious) is the division of marital property. Many often overlook the fact that contributions made to a retirement account (such as a employer-sponsored 401k) during a marriage are also listed amongst a couple's shared assets (if an employer matched an employee's contributions, those funds are considered marital assets, as well). Divorcing spouses have options when dividing up 401k funds, so research should be done to determine which would be most advantageous. 

Some might say the easiest method would be to simply liquidate the portion owed to an ex-spouse and pay him or her one lump sum. However, this could result in the contributing spouse facing serious tax penalties. If this is the way a couple chooses to go, the contributing spouse should work to specify in the divorce agreement that the responsibility for those penalties should be shared. 

Adhering to safe biking procedures when hitting open road

If you are an avid biker, you may be thrilled about the return of spring and ready to hit the open roads of Arkansas on your motorcycle. With warmer weather approaching, you have probably already dusted off your bike and performed the necessary maintenance in preparation for your coming adventures.

Due to all your experience, you are most likely aware of the majority of potential dangers associated with riding a motorcycle. Fortunately, if you adhere to traffic laws and safe riding procedures, the chances you will become involved in a dangerous collision could decrease significantly.

Is the walk-and-turn test actually effective?

When you're pulled over for a suspected DUI in Arkansas, you might be asked to perform a few field sobriety tests. One of the most widely known tests is called the "walk and turn", but just how accurate is it?

FieldSobrietyTests.org categorizes the walk-and-turn as a standardized field sobriety test. This means that there are standardized ways to carry out the procedure no matter where you are in the country, allowing for a better measurement system.

Collision with SUV kills Springdale man

It may be easy for drivers in Hot Springs to develop a feeling of invincibility while behind the wheel. They may believe that their driving skills allow them to avoid accidents. While there may certainly be something to be said about the merits of defensive driving, people cannot control the actions of others. Carelessness, recklessness or even a simple lapse in judgment on the part of another on the road can leave seasoned drivers having to deal with serious injuries, or even their families having to deal with their loss. 

A Springdale family is currently having to cope with such a loss after one of their own was killed in a collision with another driver. Accident investigators believe that the man's car was struck by an SUV whose driver failed to yield the right of way at an intersection. The condition of the driver of the SUV was not reported. However, he was cited for careless and prohibited driving along with having no insurance. 

Reviewing hours-of-service regulations for truckers

After having been involved in an accident with a semi-truck in Hot Springs, your first thoughts are likely centered the personal toll the collision has exacted on your life. Once you have processed that, you may start questioning the actions that led up to your accident. How is that a truck driver, who is typically required to undergo extensive training before getting behind the wheel, could have driven in such a way as to cause a collision? Could the long hours on the road have left him or her fatigued? We here at the Tapp Law Firm have seen enough of such accidents to know that is often a factor. 

Spending hours on the road is certainly going to have an impact on a driver. Knowing this, the federal government has placed restrictions on the hours that truck drivers can work. These are meant to ensure that truckers remain alert and attentive behind the wheel, even in cases where they are asked to cover great distances. 

Implied consent laws explained

Law enforcement officials in Hot Springs cannot force you to do anything that you do not consent to do, right? Several of those that we here at the Tapp Law Firm have assisted in the past have allowed that assumption to prompt them to refuse chemical testing when they have been suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Needless to say, they were surprised to be arrested for that refusal. While yes, authorities need to have your consent to test your blood, breath or urine, you have already given it to them. 

How? Like most states, Arkansas has an implied consent law. In Section 5-65-202 of the state's Code of Criminal Offenses, it states that by driving a vehicle, you are deemed to having given your consent to chemical tests of your blood, breath, saliva or urine to determine if you are intoxicated. A law enforcement officer need only have reasonable cause to believe that you may be impaired in order to invoke this law. If you refuse such a test, you may be subject to criminal penalties independent of the potential charges you could face for drunk driving. 

How do you know if you really need a prenuptial agreement?

Arkansas readers are aware of the fact that many marriages end in divorce. Because of the chance that your marriage may not go as planned, it can be helpful to think about ways you can protect your interests in the event of a divorce. Some couples find it beneficial to consider drafting a prenuptial agreement before getting married.

No matter how long a marriage lasts, divorce involves dividing marital property, settling issues related to debt accumulated during the marriage and dividing retirement savings. These are all complex issues, and there is no easy solution. It can be significantly easier to rely on a prenuptial agreement during a divorce, allowing you to avoid complications and additional disputes.

What is a field sobriety test?

Has your designated driver ever decided to join the party and leave you holding the bag after you have had a few drinks yourself? Whether you live here in Arkansas or across the country, it is not an uncommon occurrence. With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, you can bet it happens to at least a few revelers in the next few weeks. If it happens to you, think twice about your ability to drive, even if you stop drinking early so you can ensure friends get home after the party.

St. Patrick’s Day is one holiday sure to see police throughout the country set up sobriety checkpoints, and FindLaw notes that a field sobriety test is typically used to determine whether a driver is impaired. If you are waved over and police suspect you may have been drinking, you could be asked to take such a test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sanctions the Standardized Field Sobriety Test, which consists of three parts:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: Alcohol exaggerates the eye’s involuntary jerking when you look to the side. You may be asked to follow an object with your eyes, which officers will watch closely for twitches.
  • Walk and Turn: Walking heel-to-toe down a line, turning and walking back the same way is what you are asked to do in this test. It measures your ability to perform tasks while your attention is divided.
  • One-Leg Stand: With this test, you hold one foot some six inches in the air for 30 seconds. An impaired person may hop, touch the ground, or sway with their body or arms. If you fail these tests, police are likely to ask you to take a Breathalyzer to test your blood alcohol concentration.

Pedestrian struck and killed by cars in Little Rock crash

As everyone knows, traffic in downtown Little Rock gets hectic, especially during business hours on weekdays. Drivers are often far too eager to race through intersections, even when traffic lights are yellow or have just turned red. Sometimes people get away with such reckless behavior and other times their recklessness generates tragedy.

That might well be the case in a recent crash at the intersection of West 6th Street and Broadway. A pedestrian was struck and killed when two vehicles slammed into each other and then went onto the sidewalk where she stood.

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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