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3 Ways to Leisurely Spend Your NOLA Labor Day Weekend

new orleansAfter the 4th of July life seems to fly by at lightning speed. The summer disappears before your very eyes and all of a sudden it is time to go back to school. Time to return to the laborious homework, teacher-parent meetings, and endless sports games.

Luckily, Labor Day provides that final long weekend before the hectic school year kicks in. You want to relax, take time with family, and soak up a few more New Orleans rays before the summer is through.

Here at Harmon, Smith, & Vourvoulias, LLC, we have the same exact mindset. We thought we’d share a few relaxing ways to spend your weekend! [Read more…]

Your Best Friend: The Ignition Interlock

ignitionAs you are leaving a friend’s 50th birthday party, your friend runs out to meet you.

“Hey, have you been drinking?” he asks.

You stop dead in your tracks. You have had a few beers, but you also ate a big dinner. Are you okay to drive? You didn’t accept that free martini. Perhaps you are all right, but regardless, your friend convinces you to leave your car at the party and catch a ride with him, not letting you drive.

You were questioning it. Were you okay to drive?  [Read more…]

Independence Day Joyriders Include Football Star

blurry lightsThe holidays provide the perfect opportunity for fun with family and friends. There is nothing better than celebrating the day with festive food and drinks. A holiday weekend is certainly not the time to count the calories and watch the intake.Independence day was no exception. When celebrating America’s birthday and watching the fireworks, it is almost too easy to have one too many servings of hot dogs and hamburgers, and unfortunately, one too many beers.  Unfortunately, this means that this summer holiday is not only festive, but it is also the deadliest day of the year when it comes to drivers.

The 4th of July is notorious for DWI charges and car accidents. This year’s holiday was certainly no exception.  It was almost impossible to drive to your barbecue without running into a DWI checkpoint. [Read more…]

In One Night, This Man Saved People’s Money and Lives

car crashOn June 22, Alex Sheen could’ve spent his evening at the movies or with friends and family. He could’ve gotten in a workout or taken his dog for a leisurely walk. He could’ve spent the evening watching one of the latest movies on Netflix.

Instead, Alex Sheen spent his Saturday night standing outside of a busy bar offering rides to people he had never met — for free. He stood with a sign saying:

“Hi, my name is Alex. If you have been drinking tonight, I’d like to offer you a free ride home. Someone I know killed a man while drinking and driving one year ago tonight. In honor of the man who died, I’d like to help keep the roads safe. I’ll even bring you back to your car tomorrow.”

[Read more…]

Self-Driving Cars to Eliminate Human Error and Car Accidents?

Google Self-Driving Car

“Some 90 percent of [car] accidents involve human error. What if we can make this go away?”

These were the words of Chris Urmson, the director of Google’s self-driving car project. The day when humans no longer drive cars may be sooner than we think and the concept of “driving while impaired” will be no longer.

But would our roads be safer if cars could drive themselves? As an article in the NY Times pointed out, “Robots…don’t need to sleep. Nor do they get drunk or distracted by cellphones.” [Read more…]

DWI Infographic: Does Smoking Marijuana Impair Driving?

The legalization of marijuana in multiple states across the U.S. has raised a very difficult question for many drivers and DWI attorneys. Does marijuana use impair one’s ability to drive?

Marijuana's Effect on Driving

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Marijuana Legalization Complicates Road Safety and DWI Laws

Marijuana smoker

With the legalization of marijuana in the United States on the rise, states cannot agree on the best way to keep our roads safe. Drunk driving is much easier to regulate. Police often rely on the Breathalyzer, which can be administered on the roadside, to accurately determine a driver’s blood alcohol content. Alcohol is also much more predictable than marijuana in terms of how the body processes it. Therefore, it holds true for most people that their judgment and functioning is significantly impaired past the legal BAC limit of 0.08 percent.

This is not the case for marijuana. First of all, levels of THC—the psychoactive chemical in marijuana—cannot be detected with a Breathalyzer as can alcohol. In fact, the best measure of THC is through a blood sample, which must be taken at a hospital. [Read more…]

Infographic: DWI Arrests Per Louisiana Parish

Which Louisiana parish has the most DWI arrests each year? New Orleans defense lawyers at Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias, LLC give the breakdown below.

DWI Arrests in Louisiana Per Parish

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Driving While Under the Influence…of Fatigue

Sleepy Man

We all know that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impair judgment and put everyone’s lives at risk. But we do not often think of the intoxicating effect of that all-nighter or the common case of “burning the candle at both ends.” If you are running on empty (sleep, that is, not fuel), you are putting yourself and others at risk.

On June 7, a sleep-deprived Walmart truck driver crashed into a car that was carrying, among others, comedians Tracy Morgan and James “Uncle Jimmy Mack” McNair on the New Jersey Turnpike, killing McNair and seriously injuring Morgan. According to New Jersey prosecutors, Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Ga., had been awake for a period in excess of 24 hours at the time of the crash. As the NY Times reported, investigations found that Roper swerved at the last minute to avoid a collision with slow-moving traffic up ahead that he had failed to perceive, causing the multi-vehicle crash that killed one and injured several others. [Read more…]

New Orleans: Vive la France!

Bastille Day

Parlez-vous français? Well, this is your chance! The French National Holiday is this month and the city of New Orleans is about to come alive with its French-ness and celebrate its roots.

On July 14, 1789, an angry mob of Parisians stormed the Bastille, a prison fortress in Paris. The Bastille was a symbol of the Royal authority in France, and this day marked the beginning of the French Revolution and the movement toward democracy. Bastille Day, known to the French as le quatorze juillet (The 14th of July) and la fête nationale (The National Holiday), is the French equivalent of our Independence Day. [Read more…]