Moncks Corner Legal Issues Blog

Red light runners are leaving more families grieving

Green means go, red means stop, and yellow means speed up and try to beat the red light. At least this seems to be the common belief among many drivers in South Carolina and across the country. A recent report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety seems to confirm this. The agency's survey shows that more people are running red lights and often with disastrous results.

If you have recently suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a traffic collision that involved a driver who ran a red light, you understand how devastating such a decision can be. While it may be little comfort, you are not alone. The most recent data shows that over 900 people died in a single year when drivers failed to stop for a red light.

Inhaling dust can lead to serious health issues

From childhood, you may remember Saturday mornings when you helped your mother clean house. Perhaps your favorite chore was dusting the furniture. It was easy and quick, and there was something nice about wiping away the fine dust and leaving a polished surface. Dust was innocent, and it never occurred to you to be afraid of it.

Things are different now that you are an adult. The dust you deal with on the job is not only dangerous, but it may also be deadly. It is important to know how to handle dust in the workplace and what your options are if you suffer an illness related to particles you may have inhaled.

Can field sobriety tests prove intoxication?

If you have been pulled over by a law enforcement officer in South Carolina and subsequently been asked to do certain things like standing on one leg or walking in a straight line, you were likely the subject of a drunk driving investigation. These activities are formally called field sobriety tests and they are used before an officer arrests a person and charges them with a driving under the influence or driving while impaired offense. 

Contrary to what some people might think, field sobriety tests are not used to prove that a driver is drunk. In fact, they are not even able to do that. Instead, FieldSobrietyTests.org explains that these tests are used to collect just enough evidence to show that a driver might be impaired so that the officer can legally place them under arrest. It is important for people to know that these tests are not always completely accurate.

How to identify the signs of traumatic brain injury

Whether you have been involved in a minor fender bender or a more serious accident, you may have received a traumatic brain injury. Car accidents are the second leading cause of TBI hospitalizations in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also reports that a surprising 2.8 million people were hospitalized, killed or visited the emergency room after suffering from a traumatic brain injury

Brain injuries are caused when a sudden impact to the head causes the soft tissue of the brain to hit against the skull bone. The tissue may become bruised, inflamed or begin to bleed. It is critical to know the signs and symptoms of a TBI so you can seek medical attention. While the symptoms of a brain injury depend on the severity of the impact as well as the area of the damage, some common signs of mild to moderate brain injuries include the following:

Are designated drivers a safe option?

If you are going out for a night on the town, you may designate a driver to ensure you and your friends get home safely. A designated driver is one friend in your group who promises to refrain from drinking so that they can drive everyone home. Yet, studies show that designated drivers may not always be a safe option for people who are enjoying a night out. Does your DD really remain sober throughout the night of festivities. 

A study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found that nearly 40% of designated drivers had actually consumed alcohol during the evening. Approximately 18% of drivers had a blood alcohol content of 0.05% or higher, which could lead to severe driving impairments and could endanger the passengers in the car. Even at blood alcohol content levels of 0.02%, drivers can show impairments. 

Older people may be more prone to distracted driving

Most drivers are well aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Despite knowing how dangerous is it is to engage in other activities while behind the wheel of a vehicle, people still do it. You have probably shared the road with other South Carolina drivers who are eating, texting, looking at Facebook or watching GPS navigation.

Even a second of distraction can have devastating consequences. While younger drivers often take much of the blame for distracted driving, studies show that older drivers are more likely to look away from the road for longer periods of time. No matter the age of the person driving, he or she is responsible for choices made as well as the consequences of a distracted driving accident.

Are roadside breath test readings accurate?

If you have been pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving, you may have been asked to take a roadside breath test. Law enforcement officers across the country use these devices to measure drivers’ blood alcohol content level and determine whether they are over the legal drinking limit of 0.08. Despite the widespread use of these devices, studies show that the results may not always be accurate. In fact, some may show inflated results that could end up in a wrongful arrest and possible DUI conviction

Studies were conducted by the State University of New York at Potsdam comparing the BAC results from a breath test device to an actual blood test. Researchers found that approximately 23% of people who are tested will show inflated results. As you exhale into the device, the instrument measures the amount of methyl alcohol in the sample. Yet there are other factors that can affect this amount and the breath test reading as a whole. These factors include the following:

Common workplace injuries and your safety on the job

When you go to work, you are probably not planning on suffering an injury while you are on the clock. Even if you work in a field that may be inherently dangerous, you may not think about the many things that could be compromising your health and safety every time you go to work. Workplace injuries happen for many reasons, and it's in your interests to learn more about what to do if this happens to you.

No matter what type of job you have, you are entitled to a reasonable expectation of safety. This means that you should have access to necessary safety equipment, training and other tools that you need to stay as safe as possible. It may be helpful for you to learn about common safety hazards and things you may want to do in the event of a workplace accident.

How to identify the signs of a brain injury

Whether you work at a construction site, in a warehouse or at the office, you run the risk of receiving a traumatic brain injury while on the job. Within all industries across the United States, there are occasions where workers may slip-and-fall, trip over objects, fall from heights or have objects dropped on their heads. Traumatic brain injuries occur when a sudden bump or jolt to the head causes the brain to hit against the hard bony skull. This can cause the brain to bleed and swell, as well as damage brain cells, causing a number of different problems. 

The signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries may vary depending on what area of the brain was injured, as well as how severe the damage is. Mild brain injuries may cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, fatigue, confusion, blurred vision and mood changes. They may also affect your memory and your ability to focus. Moderate to severe cases of brain injuries may cause the following:

Will you wind up in a South Carolina jail this summer?

Whether you just successfully completed your maiden voyage (i.e. freshman) year of college or you anticipate heading back this fall to earn the final credits toward your degree from a South Carolina university, like most college students in the U.S., you're likely enjoying some down time this summer. Perhaps you have plans to go the beach. In fact, you might even have a job lined up in a beach town. After all, every penny you earn helps pay tuition.

If you're 21 or older, summer time activities might include imbibing alcohol. There isn't anything necessarily wrong with that but numerous issues should cause you to act with caution. Getting a DUI on summer break can have lasting, negative effects on your college career. The reasons you have for drinking alcohol might influence your choices, especially at social gatherings. That's why it's a good idea to have a support network in place, in case you need a ride or a legal problem arises.

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