Zweig Law, PC Attorneys at Law

Breckenridge Family, Criminal And Personal Injury Law Blog

Is a drug recognition expert involved in your DUI case?

In Colorado, an officer may pull a driver over for a traffic infraction such as speeding and then gain probable cause to test the person for impairment. While this is true of any officer in any state, there are officers in Colorado trained specifically to be drug recognition experts. They attend an extensive and in-depth program with international standards developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Here are the methods a DRE may use to identify a drugged driver.

Wedding debt may be linked to unhappy couples

When people in Colorado go into debt to finance their weddings, it could be a sign of further trouble down the road. Because finances and debt can be such a powerful source of marital strife, it is essential to consider the future effects of the debt when deciding to splurge on a venue, catering or an open bar for a large, elegant wedding. According to one study conducted by loan company LendingTree, 45% of newly married couples between 18 and 53 took on debt in order to finance their wedding ceremonies. Many people expect to be able to host elaborate ceremonies for their weddings even if they are just starting out and struggling financially.

The survey found that, of the couples who went into debt for their weddings, almost half had considered divorce since their marriage because of financial stress, particularly wedding-linked debt. On the other hand, only 9% of the couples without wedding debt said the same. The couples who went into debt also seemed to have more differences about how to fund their ceremonies. Three-quarters reported having arguments about the expenses that went into the wedding, while only 20% of the couples without wedding debt said the same.

Safety technology belongs in every vehicle

In Colorado and across the United States, 90 percent of serious car crashes are caused by drivers who make wrong decisions at critical moments. Automatic emergency braking systems and forward collision warnings help prevent mistakes from taking place. However, only 56 percent of the vehicles manufactured in 2019 include these safety features. Jeff Plungis of Consumer Reports believes that every new automobile needs to have a forward collision warning and an automatic emergency braking system. He mentions that technology is not always implemented in a timely manner. For instance, he states that it took more than a decade before it was mandatory for car manufacturers to include seat belts in all vehicles.

Thanks to the invention of the now common seat belt, more than 300,000 people have survived car crashes since 1960. Today, seat belt technology has improved by the implementation of two parts called the "limiter" and the "pretensioner." A limiter provides enough slack to protect the seat belt wearer from injuries. A pretensioner ensures that the seat belt becomes tighter in the event of a crash.

Proving causation: an obstacle in many malpractice cases

Medical malpractice cases are some of the most difficult personal injury cases to pursue in Colorado and elsewhere around the country. Two things must be proven for such a case to be valid, the first being the fact that the doctor, nurse or other medical professional failed to provide an established standard of care. While this can be easily done, the second step, that of linking the negligence to the injury, can be challenging.

For example, those who are about to undergo a surgical procedure are told beforehand that there can be side effects and complications. If they develop complications after surgery, then they will need to show that a surgical error or another mistake was to blame. Otherwise, they cannot be compensated for injuries that can arise even when there is no negligence.

Business owners may have special concerns during divorce

Business owners in Colorado who decide to divorce may have specific concerns that arise about their situation. After all, some of the longest-lasting effects of divorce are financial, and these issues may linger long after the emotional and practical issues have faded away. In particular, business owners may want to think about the tax implications as well as the impact on their companies of any decisions they make about property division in a divorce. However, business owners can work with professionals and take steps to allow their companies to emerge successfully after a divorce.

With many family-owned businesses, these enterprises may be the major source of income as well as a significant marital asset. This means that the business may be the primary subject of negotiations over how to handle property division in the divorce. This is especially true for the type of small companies where personal and corporate lines are often heavily blurred in terms of finances. As a result, it may be difficult to agree on a valuation for the business or an accurate assessment of the business owner's income.

Many drivers don't understand advanced safety technology

Drivers in Colorado and elsewhere may not understand the advanced safety technology that automakers are increasingly placing in new vehicles. As a result, they may not be using or responding to the systems properly.

Currently, around half of all new vehicles manufactured in the U.S. are semi-automated, including those with relatively low price tags. In addition, automakers have pledged to make automatic emergency braking systems standard on all new cars sold in the U.S. by 2020. However, many drivers don't understand how this technology works, which sometimes leads to fatalities. For example, a survey found that 11% of drivers misunderstand how semi-autonomous vehicles work, thinking that they can use their phone or read while the car drives itself. In fact, several drivers who have let their semi-automated vehicles drive themselves ended up dying in horrific crashes. While fully automated cars are being tested across the country, none of them have yet reached the market.

Changes in tax law forces changes in divorce settlements

When the government changed the tax code, divorce filings increased in 2018 due to the implications of the changes. Lawmakers changed the code to remove the tax incentive for those paying alimony.

How does one change in the tax law have such an impact on divorce settlements? To get an idea of what it may mean for you, take a look at what the law was like before Jan. 1, 2019 and how it exists now. Comparing the two may help you understand how divorce negotiations may differ drastically from what they were just a year ago.

Disparate incomes linked to divorce

When people in Colorado decide to divorce, financial conflicts are often some of the primary issues that lead to the end of a marriage. These issues can derive from a range of disputes, and some are more common when one partner earns significantly more than the other. While this can cause problems in a relationship of any kind, one survey found that couples were particularly likely to divorce when the wife made more than the husband. There are several social reasons why this may be the case, but it is also important to note that the problem is far from universal.

In some cases, disputes may be caused by the higher-earning partner's dominance in financial decision-making. The lower-earning partner may not feel as if he has a voice. Men who were socialized to be dominant in their relationships may find this grating. However, the higher divorce rate is not confined to couples struggling with unfair or inequitable decision-making. Some men may be subject to social pressures or stereotypes that lead them to doubt their masculinity as the lower earner. In some cases, these husbands may become controlling or resentful, sparking the issues that lead to the dissolution of the relationship.

Distracted driving study reveals growing road safety issue

The results of a recent study suggest that drivers in Colorado and around the country spend an average of 13 minutes each day looking at their cellphone screens while behind the wheel. Root Insurance, which offers motorists discounts for not engaging in this potentially deadly behavior, commissioned a Virginia-based research firm to conduct the online poll.

Previous research into distracted driving has revealed that most motorists have an inflated view of their own behind-the-wheel skills and criticize others for behavior that they are often guilty of themselves. The Root Insurance study is no different. Almost 40% of the drivers polled admitted that even seeing a police car in their rear-view mirrors was not enough to convince them to put their phones down, but 90% considered themselves to be more skilled than Uber or Lyft drivers.

Changes in divorce and custody over the decades

If parents in Colorado who are getting a divorce must go to court to reach an agreement on child custody and visitation, it is likely that the judge will be amenable to both shared legal custody and an arrangement that allows the father far more time with the child than he might have had in the past. This is part of a shift over the past several decades toward fathers spending more time with their children after a divorce or separation.

Fathers who were never married and who have lower incomes are less likely to seek custody than higher-income fathers who were married. However, when the former group does seek access to their children, they are more likely to be granted it than they were in previous years. Another significant shift in how divorce plays out today compared to earlier decades is that parents are more likely to reach an amicable agreement through mediation instead of going to litigation.

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