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Louisville Criminal Defense Blog

The steps that lead to a DUI charge

Those who drive on Kentucky roads while impaired by alcohol could be taken into custody for doing so. Drunk drivers are taken into custody to ensure that they don't hurt themselves or anyone else who is on the road. Individuals may be deemed to be driving while intoxicated even if they don't necessarily feel like they are impaired. An officer may suspect an individual is drunk before or during a traffic stop.

For instance, police officers may observe vehicles swerving or being driven without headlights at night. Aggressive driving can also be a sign of impaired driving. Drivers may showcase physical signs of impairment such as slurred speech or an inability to stay upright. Upon observing physical or other signs that a person may be drunk, a driver could be asked to perform field sobriety tests. These tests may include taking a Breathalyzer test or walking in a straight line.

The First Step prison reform bill passes the Senate.

A major prison reform bill is closer to becoming law after overwhelming support in the US Senate. If is becomes law, many federal prisoners in Kentucky may see an early release. The president is expected to sign the legislation.

The bill is commonly called the First Step Act. The bill seeks to reform harsh prison sentencing guidelines that were originally enacted in the 1980s. Many federal crimes, especially drug crimes, carry lengthy prison sentences. Often these sentences are in excess of ten years for a nonviolent offense. Many believe these sentences are a reason the US has one of the highest inmate populations in the world. Over 175,000 inmates are housed in federal prisons.

Alcohol abuse and drunk driving rates higher among veterans

According to the American Addiction Centers, veterans in Kentucky and throughout the U.S. have been drinking at higher rates in recent years. The data found that the rate of binge alcohol consumption among veterans has increased from 14 percent in 2013 to about 16 percent in 2017. Furthermore, it was determined that the increase was about 3 percent for women, which was significantly higher than the increase for men. An increase in the amount of alcohol consumed by veterans has led to a higher rate of drunk driving.

Among this group, 1.6 percent said that they drove while drunk in 2014. That number has since increased to 2.5 percent. While the overall rate of binge drinking was higher for women, men were more likely to drive after doing so. One reason why veterans may be drinking more is because of trauma experienced while in Iraq and Afghanistan.

First Step Act advances prison and sentencing reform

The First Step Act continues to make progress within the U.S. Congress with bipartisan support. The bill contains a number of reforms to criminal sentencing guidelines and seeks to enforce existing rules that the Federal Bureau of Prisons has failed to observe. A prominent reform within the legislation would apply to prisoners in Kentucky and around the country who were convicted of crack cocaine offenses prior to 2010. If passed, the new law could allow people with long sentences to petition for early release.

Historically, sentences for crack cocaine convictions exceeded penalties for people caught possessing or selling powdered cocaine. In 2010, the Fair Sentencing Act eliminated most of the disparities between sentences based on the form of cocaine involved.

Police are using checkpoints to catch drunk drivers

Police employ many strategies for catching drunk drivers. For this reason, you need to be extremely careful any time you consume alcohol. While the best way to avoid a DUI arrest is to never drink and drive, this isn't always the approach people take.

Police often set up DUI checkpoints in an attempt to catch people who are under the influence of alcohol. With this approach, they're able to check the sobriety of a large number of people in a relatively short period of time.

2 men charged with drug trafficking after accident

Police in a Kentucky town have reported that two men were taken into custody on narcotics possession and trafficking charges on the morning of Nov. 3 at the site of a motor vehicle accident that closed down the southbound lanes of Interstate 65 for several hours. Officers say that they approached the men because they were acting in a suspicious manner. Witnesses are said to have told the officers that as well.

The multi-vehicle accident took place at approximately 6:45 a.m. in Bullitt County. Initial reports indicate that injuries were minor. After noticing the two individuals acting strangely, police officers say that they called in a K9 unit to assist them as they checked the accident scene and surrounding area for anything that appeared unusual.

DUI testing standards remain unclear in marijuana cases

In Kentucky and elsewhere across the United States, legal restrictions regarding marijuana usage and vehicle operation are unclear. There are no standardized testing procedures across jurisdictions for marijuana-induced impairment other than traditional field sobriety tests. This makes it difficult for authorities to know when and how to charge a driver who is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs. When alcohol is clearly not a factor, this problem can lead to drivers being charged improperly.

In order to address this issue in greater detail, the National Transportation Safety Board has called on other governmental agencies to examine the development of testing devices that specifically measure impairment related to marijuana usage. The reason for this push is partially due to a study that found that 46 percent of drivers who were killed in 2015 traffic accidents tested positive for drugs.

Laptops represent the weak link in business data security

IT managers at companies in Kentucky generally place great importance on securing their computer networks from hacking or software attacks. They install firewalls and use encryption to protect data, but laptop computers present a much softer target. Research conducted by technology companies revealed that every laptop has a 10 percent chance of being stolen. This translates into a laptop getting stolen every 53 seconds.

A survey of IT workers confirmed the prevalence of laptop theft, with 86 percent responding that laptops had been taken from their organizations. Data breaches resulted for 56 percent of survey respondents. Data breaches impose heavy costs on companies in terms of money and reputation damage.

Using laboratory testing to fight drug charges

Facing drug possession charges is never something to approach casually, even if the chagres are relatively minor. Even minor drug charges can result in months or years of jail time and may continue to cause problems long after you serve your time.

Many employers and housing managers simply refuse to consider applicants with drug charges on their record, making it difficult to find good housing or employment.

Marijuana possession arrests continue to rise

Even as more states like Kentucky move toward the legalization of medical cannabis, marijuana arrests continue to rise. According to the FBI, someone is arrested on marijuana charges every 48 seconds in the United States. In 2017, there were 659,700 marijuana arrests. There were 653,249 in 2016. According to the report, the enforcement uptick was not marked by a rise in arrests of dealers or producers but by more arrests for simple possession. This comes despite the protests that have risen against these types of arrests.

Across the country, 599,282 of the 2017 arrests -- all but 60,000 -- were marijuana possession arrests. This number rose from 587,516 possession arrests in 2016. In fact, sales and manufacturing arrests actually declined, from 65,734 in 2016 to 60,418 in 2017. Over 40 percent of all drug arrests were related to marijuana. On Election Day 2016, four more states voted to legalize marijuana -- Nevada, Maine, California and Massachusetts. However, drug-possession arrests have continually been highlighted as a troubling aspect of the American criminal justice system.

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