Boating Under the Influence: A Big “NO” in All 50 States

Oct 24, 2016 by

Driving under the influence (DUI) is prohibited in all 50 states; so is BUI, which stands for boating under the influence or drinking and operating a boat. All states, in fact, have their own set of penalties for violators of the boating under the influence (BUI) law. While large fines and imprisonment are standard penalties, some states can also impose suspension of operator’s certification, completion of alcohol education program or safe boating course, suspension of operating privileges, or suspension of driver’s license.

BUI laws have been passed due to alcohol and drug-related boating injuries and fatalities that just kept on occurring every year, especially during the boating season. Alcohol, as mentioned in the official website of the Boating Safety Resource Center, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division, is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Drinking, as a matter of fact, impairs a boat operator faster than it would a car driver who is on land. This is due to the overall condition at sea, such as the motion of a boat, the sun and the heat, the sea breeze, the noise, the wind, and the glare of the sea water. All these, which are referred to as “boater’s fatigue,” can affect the physical and mental abilities of a boat operator much faster.

According to the United States Coast Guard, the effects of alcohol when consumed while on sea include:

Deterioration of judgment, cognitive abilities, as well as the ability to make wise assessment of any situation;
Problem in balance, lack of coordination and failure to make timely reaction to dangers;
Decrease in peripheral or night vision and depth perception; and Difficulty in pulling self out of the cold water (if thrown overboard), resulting to hypothermia and death.

According to the website of the Toronto personal injury lawyers at Mazin and Associates, the possible results of accidents vary – from a minor bumps or bruises to fractures or severe head injuries. In cases involving serious harm to a victim, the liable party or his/her insurance provider is often unwilling to pay the full amount of compensation that will cover all the damages suffered by the victim, especially the amount that will enable the victim to receive full and proper medical treatment that will help him/her recover immediately. It can be to the victim’s advantage if he/she would pursue legal action against the liable party through the help of a seasoned personal injury lawyer.

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Can A Trespasser File A Premise Liability Claim?

Jul 30, 2016 by

“No Trespassing.” We often this sign on walls or posts or in private properties. Such warning is not designed to vandalize the wall or post. It is placed there for a purpose. When you trespass and gets injured inside the premises of the private property, it is likely that you will be on your own when it comes to shouldering your medical expenses.

A trespasser is one who enters a property without the permission of the owner. In premise liability laws, the property owner does not have a duty of care against a trespasser. Thus, any injuries or accidents that happen to the trespasser, the property owner will not be liable for it. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenherg, property owners are legally required to ensure the safety of their premises. But what about an individual who trespasses in their property? Can they be held liable for accidents that will happen to someone who does not have their permission to enter their premises?

Generally, while the law prohibits someone to enter someone’s property without their permission, there are certain instances when the property owner can still be responsible for accidents or injuries to the trespasser. Here are some instances that a trespasser may pursue a premise liability claim:

1. Dangerous artificial conditions present in neighboring properties that could pave the way for unreasonable risk of harm to people who are lawfully on the neighboring countries.
2. Hidden dangers intentionally placed to cause injury to trespassers that would result to death or serious injury.
3. Use of willful, illegal force against a trespasser in some circumstances especially when the private property abuts public land.
4. Dangerous conditions maintained near a public right of way

The Rule of Attractive Nuisance

Attractive nuisance takes into effect when a child enters someone’s property without permission. Under this rule, if the property has a dangerous condition that is attractive to children such as a swimming pool, abandoned car, or discarded appliances, the property owner can be held liable for any injuries.

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Speeding

Mar 13, 2016 by

Claudia Castillo just wanted to ask if there was an emergency situation that made it necessary for a police officer operating a Miami-Dade police squad car to speed. She asked him to pull over and then lectured him on the safety of responsible driving.

This was the scene that was captured in three cellular phone videos that were posted on video-sharing website Youtube on Jan. 29, 2016 by Castillo, who said she was the one taking the video and driving the vehicle that stopped the police squad car, much like a routine Miami traffic stop.

Castillo claimed the police officer was speeding “since Miller Drive when you were first jumping onto the Palmetto…you were pushing 90 miles an hour”.

The Sun Sentinel, the main daily newspaper of Broward County in Florida, received a Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for its investigative expose of speeding police officers using electronic-tolling data; journalists were able to find out that some off-duty squad cars regularly zoom along highways at 130 mph.

Attorneys at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, & Overbeck, P.A. say that speeding, or driving past the designated speed limit in a certain area and “committing a combination of moving traffic offenses”, is a dangerous road behavior that should be immediately curtailed, for doing so along roads and highways is tantamount to putting one’s life, and potentially the lives of other motorists, in danger.

Some states have taken precautions to prevent speeding and aggressive driving activities from proliferating by instituting laws that would penalize such actions, which include failure to yield, following too closely, improper passing, and red light running, among others.

Automated enforcement is also a good way of reducing speeding incidents. Some states have installed red light cameras to be able to pinpoint who have been violating speeding laws.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there had been 9,262 individuals whose lives were claimed in speeding-related accidents in 2014, making it 28% of the fatalities in vehicular crashes in that year.

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Your Colored Exhaust Fume And What It Tries To Tell You About Your Car

Oct 16, 2015 by

Volkswagen deliberately sold some of their cars equipped with a device that is intended to defraud the results of an emissions test. While almost every one of us is serious in our fight against deadly air pollutants, it is sad that some car makers choose commercialism and salability over environment and safety, veering away to the opposite side of the fight.

To be a more responsible and environment-friendly car owner, you should be sensitive of what goes out of your exhaust. Believe it or not, the exhaust that comes out of your car’s exhaust pipe should be colorless. A car that emits black, white, or blue fume means something is not right, and that you should do something to detect and address the issue. Here’s what the colors of your car’s fume probably mean:

Bluish exhaust smoke

When your car is smoking blue, it means that you are burning a compound that shouldn’t be burned – engine oil. Blue smoke means your valves could be leaky, causing the engine oil from your car’s cylinder head to dribble down into the combustion chamber. To confirm this, check your spark plugs for any oil deposits. You should also visit your mechanic promptly for valve or cylinder head repair.

White exhaust smoke

When your car is smoking a thick, white fume, it means that your engine is burning water. Water may leak into the combustion chamber through cracks and dents, especially on the cylinder block (the block that houses the piston). Thick white smoke may signal a very serious engine problem, so you should contact your mechanic quickly for a check-up.

Black exhaust smoke

Black smoke coming out of your car’s tailpipe could mean uncalibrated ratio of air and fuel. Air-fuel mixture can go wrong when your fuel line is clogged, or you have faulty fuel injectors, or you have an air intake filter that has never been cleaned. Whatever the reason might be, you have to visit your mechanic for a quick check-up and fix.

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Perjury

Jun 11, 2015 by

Perjury is when a false statement is made under oath to tell the truth. This can be in court or if false information is put into a document under the penalty of perjury, such as lying about information for a driver’s license application or on tax return paperwork. According to the website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC the consequences can be extremely serious-up to four years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and in some states, death if the perjury led to the execution of an innocent person. However, there are certain aspects that must be proven before the prosecution can get a conviction of perjury and a qualified lawyer can help with a cases of perjury.

Perjury can only happen under oath. So if you did not swear to tell the truth, or if the oat was not given by a person who is authorized, perjury was not committed even if a false statement was made. Similarly, if a false statement is made outside of court or other proceedings it is not perjury, since you would not have been under oath. Refusing to respond and remaining silent is not perjury since no statement was made, but could lead to other charges. There must also be intent to mislead. If you were confused, did not understand the question, or made a mistake in memory that lead to a false statement perjury was not committed. However, inconsistency can be considered perjury. If you were asked a question and could not remember well enough to answer only to later remember with clarity, your previous statement could be considered false. Lastly, the false statement must be influential to the case. If you were acting as a witness for a robbery and lied about what you ate for breakfast that morning, it does not bear relevance to the case and could not be considered perjury.

There are many bits and pieces to an accusation of perjury, and it can quickly become confusing. Many aspects must be proven before you can be accused of perjury.

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