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San Antonio Legal Blog

How does alcohol impact a person’s driving skills?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, twenty eight people die every day in the United States due to an auto accident in which an alcohol impaired driver was a factor. Whether you consume a lot of drinks or just a few, there are a number of ways alcohol can impact your driving skills. 

Large alcohol consumption, about up to seven drinks, can have severe consequences on a motorist’s ability to control a vehicle. With this much alcohol in your system, you would experience sharply reduced muscle control and may even vomit. It would also greatly impact your ability to control an automobile, to pay attention to what is going on around you, or to process the needed visual and auditory stimulus to make important decisions. You can also lose substantial balance.

How does Texas enforce child support decisions?

A specific type of legal body, known as a Title IV-D court, would be the agency responsible for adjudicating any Texas child support issue in which you are involved. The name of these courts comes from a section of the Federal Social Security Act. This act requires states to uphold nationwide standards in the enforcement of your child support or related family law issues, such as medical support, determination of parental status or locating a missing parent. 

As you might imagine, these courts are something of a hybrid: They receive federal as well as state funding as a result of their direct responsibility to the United States government. However, they are still Texas courts, which means that you and your parental counterpart should expect to be held to the relatively strict child support rules of the state.  

This is how texting and other distractions affect driving ability

Many drivers in San Antonio don't think about the problem of distraction. But the reality is that distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, and distractions contribute to many car accidents and are a leading cause of traffic fatalities. 

And while it is known to to be the most dangerous form of distracted driving, texting while driving is one among many distractions that cause car accidents. Anything that requires motorists to stop focusing on safely operating their vehicles and to remove their hands from their steering wheels and eyes off the roads is a distraction. Here is a brief overview of some common types of driving distractions. 

What is the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act?

When you or your spouse is in the military, it can make custody and visitation arrangements difficult. Texas courts and the federal government recognize these special circumstances and the challenges you will face. To help combat issues and make things easier on everyone, laws have been enacted to help clarify procedures and protect the rights of the military parent, who can sometimes feel as if his or her time with the children is hurt by his or her military status.

The National Conference of State Legislatures created the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act to assist courts with visitation and custody procedures for military families. Not all states have adopted this Act, but Texas is in the group of states that has. This means judges follow the Act to help when making decisions and handling cases involving military parents because the state has added the Act to its laws. 

Are attorneys necessary in uncontested divorces?

If you are interested in the process of obtaining a divorce in Texas, you have probably come across the idea of uncontested divorce. This option is available, under specific conditions, to married couples in the state. This type of divorce typically requires less time and fewer resources, and is therefore potentially desirable if you meet all the requirements. Even with the simplified process, legal advice may still be useful if you are considering using this option in certain circumstances.

Having an attorney's perspective might secure the divorce terms for the future. Even if you and your partner agree now about the terms of the divorce, there is no assurance as to the continuation of such an agreement. Furthermore, improperly executed divorce agreements might have repercussions for you and your family that few people, other than legal professionals, would be likely to foresee. Hiring a lawyer to handle your divorce negotiations and paperwork might not guarantee future harmony, but it might forestall certain issues stemming from predictable problems with the agreement.

Trucker hours-of-service regulations explained

Truck drivers are not the only ones at risk in accidents involving semi-trucks and tractor trailers in San Antonio. Due to the massive size of these vehicles, the drivers of the smaller vehicles they collide with often face greater danger. Indeed, information shared by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that, of the 3,986 people killed in large truck accidents in 2016, 66 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles. Truckers may not always appreciate just how much their actions can put others at risk. This may allow them to do things that, while seemingly benign in others lines of work, can actually cause great danger. 

One of these is working extended hours. While it may be hard to fault someone for wanting to work hard, when that person's work involves driving a massive commercial vehicle, the risk that fatigue can create is just to great. Thus, federal regulations have been established to help prevent truck drivers from working extended hours. A trucker found to be in violation of these could face criminal penalties on top of legal liability were he or she to cause an accident. 

Lake Worth car crash claims the life of Colleyville teen

The holidays are certainly a time when San Antonio residents are encouraged to exercise added caution while out on the roads. Increased traffic volumes due to people visiting family and friends can increase the risk of car accidents. Sadly, people cannot plan for the actions of others, and given that the holiday season is also often associated with parties and events (many of which serve alcohol), the chances of encountering a drunk driver on the road may also go up. 

A Colleyville family learned this lesson firsthand after losing their daughter in a Thanksgiving crash. The 14-year-old was traveling in her grandparent's car after having visited them for dinner when the accident occurred. The vehicle was struck by another that had run a red light. Her stepfather also revealed that the driver responsible for the accident was driving well above the posted speed limit, and subsequent reports confirmed that he was also intoxicated. Information regarding what sort of criminal charges the driver may be facing was not released. While the girl was killed, any injuries that her grandparents or the other driver sustained were not reported. 

What are ways to protect a business from a divorce?

While it may not be pleasant to think about, sometimes a divorce can have a dramatic impact on a Texas business if it is owned by both spouses. Sometimes a couple may have a lot of their wealth tied up in the business, which can result in the company being sold to make a settlement. A recent article by Marketwatch lays out possible ways you can protect a business you partially own from the consequences of a divorce.

If you create a business before entering into marriage, Texas law allows you to draft a prenuptial agreement that lays out what will happen to the business in the event you divorce. A prenup should be in writing and carried out voluntarily in the presence of witnesses. If done right, a prenup can even counteract the property division laws used in community property states, which includes the state of Texas.

How does child support enforcement work in Texas?

The money you receive from your ex-husband is essential for your children's well-being and comfort. Unfortunately, your ex is not always reliable in paying child support, and if the payments you receive are becoming fewer and farther between, you are not alone. Custodial parents across Texas are not receiving the court-ordered child support due from their exes.

It may be difficult for your ex to pay child support - the cost of living is high, and he may have lost his job or is making less money than he made at the time the support order went into effect. Regardless of the reasons for not paying, it is the responsibility of the paying parent to tell the court if he or she is having trouble making payments. Failure to do so can result in child support enforcement measures taken against your ex. These may include the following:

  • The state withholding wages and intercepting tax refunds
  • A lien filed by the state against property or assets your ex owns
  • Suspension of your ex's driver's license, professional license, and hunting and fishing licenses after child support is more than three months overdue

Do you understand the new texting while driving law?

As a Texas resident, you probably are aware that a new law went into effect on September 1. As reported by the Star-Telegram, on that date Texas joined 46 other states in banning texting while driving. You still have the right to use your cellphone to talk hands-free, as well as to use it to seek emergency help, report a crime, operate a GPS or play music.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted drivers, including those texting while driving, killed 3,477 people in 2015 and injured 391,000 others nationwide. In 2016, distracted drivers caused 455 fatalities and over 300 serious injuries in Texas.