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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…]

Are You Drunk? DWI Lawyers Explain Field Sobriety Tests

Have you had one too many? Police officers in Louisiana will decide if you should be arrested for DWI by administering one, or a few, of the following field sobriety tests, explained by New Orleans DWI attorneys at Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias, LLC.

Field Sobriety Tests Infographic

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Can Marijuana Impair Driving?

Person Holding a Marijuana CigaretteMost people only talk about blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when it comes to DWI charges. However, alcohol is not the only culprit of driving impairment.

The New York Times recently published an article on the lack of attention that has been devoted to marijuana as a drug that impairs driving. When it comes to DWI charges, marijuana has taken the back seat, but this does not mean that it does not have its own dangers and legal consequences. [Read more…]

Pop Music Sings of Drinking without the Consequences

teen drivingWhat does Ke$ha brush her teeth with in the morning? What brand of liquor does LMFAO like? What alcohol brand name does Snoop Dogg drop in his song “I Drink I Smoke”?

If you know the answer to any of these questions, or if your child does, listen up. A recent study published last month, referenced in NPR and USA Today, found a correlation between exposure to music containing alcohol brand references and alcohol-related behaviors among adolescents. It stated that adolescents who like music that references alcohol are three times as likely to drink and twice as likely to binge than those who do not like these songs. [Read more…]

To Get an Attorney, or Not to Get an Attorney: That Is the Question

DUI arrestLast month, a 23-year-old woman was arrested in Baton Rouge for attempting to destroy her DWI charge.

According to an article in The Times-Picayune, Jana Pourciau crashed her car into an elementary school fence off of LA Hwy 977 late at night on April 12. Pourciau was arrested on a DWI charge and taken to the Baton Rouge General Medical Center Mid-City for her injuries, where doctors collected a toxicology report.

Ten days later, Pourciau emailed and called the State Police Crime Lab, pretending to be a court official. She told them to destroy her blood sample from the wreck “because the case had been dismissed and was not going to be prosecuted.” She was arrested for false impersonation and forgery at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. [Read more…]

Slurp Down Some Oysters at the New Orleans Oyster Fest

A Plate of OystersWhere else but New Orleans can you find an oyster-slurping competition? It’s that time of the year again! The countdown for the New Orleans Oyster Festival is on.

Louisiana is known for its seafood and oysters. And although the seafood industry took a hard hit after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, they have bounced right back. Now, the French Quarter is one of the biggest oyster producers in the nation and has been dubbed the Oyster Capital of America. [Read more…]

Bicycling Under the Influence

Two People Riding BicyclesBiking is becoming an increasingly common way of traveling the roadways in cities and towns across the United States, and, as with any other method of transportation, safety is a concern.  Laws against drunk driving are relatively apparent but what about biking under the influence?

The dangers of drunk driving are apparent and so are the consequences of being charged with a DUI.  But, for bicyclists pedaling home after a few drinks at the bar the rules and consequences aren’t so clear.

According to an article from the Huffington Post, this is an issue that is taken rather lightly by citizens and lawmakers.  Events in cities and towns nationwide actually encourage people to head home on their bike after a boozy night out despite well-documented dangers of bicycling under the influence. [Read more…]

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