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Frankfort Legal Blog

Opioids may play significant role in some fatal two-car crashes

Opioid use is widespread in Kentucky, as elsewhere, and the unfortunate thing is that many people choose to drive under the influence of these drugs. Opioids cause drowsiness and dizziness, especially in those who have not developed a tolerance to them, such as individuals who take them for acute injuries like burns and fractures. They are at the highest risk for a crash.

Though some experts say that opioid-related car crashes will decline as fewer opioid prescriptions are being written, one study says that the number of car crash initiators with opioids in their system has risen from 2% in 1993 to 7.1% in 2016. A second study, which was published in JAMA Network Open, has explored the possible role that opioid use has in fatal two-vehicle crashes.

Driving tips for a safe winter

Winter is coming, and Kentucky drivers will soon have to contend with slippery roads on a regular basis. Federal statistics show that snow and ice are contributing factors in over 1,300 deaths and nearly 117,000 injuries on U.S roads each year. However, according to traffic safety experts, there are several winter driving tips people can follow to reduce their risk of accidents during inclement weather.

Slowing down and leaving extra space between vehicles are two of the most important things people can do when driving in snowy, icy or slushy conditions. By lowering their speed and keeping their distance from other cars, drivers can give themselves more time to react and recover from slides and spin-outs. Another important tip is for drivers to properly prepare their vehicles for winter weather by making sure their tires, fluid levels and battery are in good working condition. They should also clean their headlights and windshields to ensure optimum visibility while on the road.

Investigation finds fault in many DUI breath tests

Some people in Kentucky who are charged with drunk driving could have actually had their blood alcohol content measured on a faulty device, and this could affect the results. According to a large-scale investigation by The New York Times, courts in New Jersey and Massachusetts dismissed more than 30,000 breath tests in a 12-month period because of these types of errors. When the devices are not calibrated correctly, they can return results that say a person's blood alcohol content is up to 40% higher than it really is.

There are several other things that could go wrong with these devices. They could no longer work accurately because they are old. They could be poorly maintained, or there could be errors in their programming. Handheld devices can be particularly vulnerable, and even a substance such as a breath mint can affect the readings they return. The article identified several other problems, including one police force that drilled a hole in the device.

Are you ready to make a repayment plan for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

One of the key factors that separate Chapter 13 bankruptcy from Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the obligation for ongoing debt repayment in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The person filing will need to create and complete a repayment plan, paying toward their debt for three to five years.

You will have to outline how much you intend to pay toward each creditor every month and stick to the plan you propose. What seems on the surface like a simple issue can prove to be quite complex. There is no standard formula for repaying various debts in bankruptcy.

Raising awareness of distractions for Teen Driver Safety Week

Parents in Kentucky may want to explain the dangers of distracted driving to their teens. After all, October 20 to 26 is Teen Driver Safety Week. Researchers from Michigan State University have released the results of a new study as a way to tie in with this event. The study had to do with teens and distracted driving.

A total of 3,400 teens were monitored behind the wheel between the years 2011 and 2013. By actually recording drivers' actions inside the vehicles, researchers gathered valuable data not accessed by previous studies, which had to rely on police crash reports for their conclusions.

Police in Kentucky seize almost 80 pounds of meth

A multi-agency narcotics investigation in Kentucky has led to the seizure of almost 80 pounds of methamphetamine and the arrest of four individuals according to a press release from the McCracken County Sheriff's Department. A MCSD representative said that the seized drugs would be worth as much as $3.5 million if they were sold on the street. The offenses that the four individuals have been charged with have not been released as the investigation is ongoing, and further arrests are possible.

The drug investigation was launched when detectives identified several individuals who allegedly had ties to a Laurel County narcotic ring responsible for distributing significant quantities of methamphetamine in West Kentucky. While making their inquiries, detectives are said to have learned about a large quantity of drugs that were scheduled to be delivered to a residence on John Puryear Drive in Woodlawn-Oakdale.

How to avoid being a victim of road rage

According to a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 80% of respondents admitted to being angry or aggressive while driving. Honking, tailgating and making rude gestures were among the most common acts of aggression that survey participants took part in. While road rage may be relatively common in Kentucky and across the country, there are things that people can do to avoid a confrontation while on the road.

One tactic is to ignore a driver who makes a mistake or is acting aggressive while on the road. Generally speaking, yelling or honking at that person will only escalate the situation. It is also a good idea for an individual to stay in his or her vehicle if someone else is acting in a menacing manner. Ideally, anyone who feels threatened will drive until it is safe to call authorities or otherwise get help.

How can you and other pedestrians stay safe on the road?

Whether you're exercising, walking to your job or just strolling along Kentucky streets, as a pedestrian, a car crashing into you is always a dangerous possibility. Unfortunately, a person has little to no chance next to a zooming vehicle.

Crossing the road is more dangerous than you may think - so it's important to practice safety tips when traveling by foot. 

A college football game could leave you with DUI charges

With football season now underway, Louisville Cardinals fans are excited to cheer on their favorite college team. If you're a supporter, you might sport some red and make the drive to the University of Louisville to see the Cardinals play.

A large part of football involves tailgating and drinking alcoholic beverages, but that can lead to an increased risk of drinking and driving. After the game, you might have a long drive ahead of you, but driving drunk could lead to legal ramifications.

Distracted drivers can put others at risk for getting hurt

Driver impairment, excessive speed and running red lights are all common reasons why car accidents occur on Kentucky roadways. In fact, they are among some of the most common reasons why accidents happen on roads across the United States. Nationally, the number of deaths attributed to accidents caused by drivers running red lights jumped 30% from 2012 to 2017. In 2017, there were 939 fatalities caused by drivers who ran red lights, which was the highest total in the past 10 years.

According to the Traffic Safety Culture Index from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 85% of respondents said running a traffic light was dangerous. However, roughly one-third said that they had done so within 30 days of participating in the study. One police chief said that cellphones and other distractions were to blame for such behavior.

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