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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

Utah woman mistakenly arrested for DUI

Utah police officers are trained to look for certain behaviors when it comes to determining when a driver is driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. The problem is that the existence of those behaviors does not always mean that an individual is impaired. Sadly, individuals are often arrested for DUI based on field sobriety tests and observations that are subjective and unreliable.

For example, a woman was recently taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. She came into contact with officers after being rear-ended in traffic. The officer believed that her erratic behavior was the result of being under the influence of a then unidentified substance. Field sobriety tests were conducted, and based on her failure of those tests, she was arrested.

Before filing for divorce, consider this

Emotions are often running high after a couple decides to end a marriage. Anger, resentment and grief can quickly take control of the divorce process if the parties let them. Instead, Utah residents should take a step back and make an agreement to work together to help ensure that they each have the chance to start their new lives in the best financial position possible.

The first and potentially most challenging part of the process is to determine what it will take to live after the divorce. Everyone has a vision of how they want their new lives to be. However, in reality, budget cuts might be needed in order to sustain two households on the same resources that used to support one during the marriage.

Angelina Jolie temporarily awarded sole child custody

By now, most people in Utah are aware that Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt. Recently, allegations of child abuse arose against Pitt, and a temporary child custody agreement was reached. As part of that agreement, Jolie was given sole custody of the couple's six children.

Furthermore, Pitt voluntarily agreed to undergo random alcohol and drug testing, and his first tests came back negative. The couple will attend both individual and family counseling (with the children), and a therapist will supervise at least Pitt's first visitation with the children. When the agreement was made, Pitt was already under investigation for an incident that allegedly occurred on board a private jet on Sept. 14.

Alleged DUI-related crash results in charges for Utah woman

As a Utah woman's SUV came around a tight corner, she lost control and the vehicle slammed into a tree. When the vehicle came to a rest, it was on its side. By the time the investigation at the scene was completed, the driver was accused of being intoxicated and now faces charges that include DUI and automobile homicide.

When the first officer responded to the scene, he was unable to free the vehicle's occupants through the windows or doors. He broke the windshield and discovered an infant who was rushed to an area hospital. Sadly, the 4-month-old girl died from the injuries she suffered in the crash. The two women in the vehicle also suffered injuries, but not as serious as those suffered by the baby.

Can grandparents seek child custody or visitation in Utah?

The current standard that Utah courts are required to follow when it comes to the fate of children in a divorce or separation is what is in the best interests of the children. The basic assumption is that the being with a parent fulfills that standard. However, there are instances where the children would be better off with their grandparents, and the law does allow for these relatives to petition the court for child custody or visitation.

It can be a challenge to overcome the assumption that the best interests of the children would be served by a parent receiving custody. However, Utah courts might consider granting a grandparent custody of the children under certain circumstances. If it can be proved through appropriate evidence that one or both parents are somehow unfit or not competent to care for the children, a grandparent might be awarded custody or visitation.

78 drivers could be charged with DUI after Labor Day weekend

Several local law enforcement agencies and the Utah Highway patrol participated in the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign over Labor Day weekend. Across the state, 78 people were taken into custody during the campaign. It remains to be seen how many will actually be charged with DUI. 

According to reports regarding the checkpoints conducted in northern Utah, one location had five separate stations and stopped 10 random vehicles at a time. Once 10 vehicles were pulled over, any others were not stopped until there was an opening. As for the vehicles that were pulled over, officers had a mere 90 seconds to ascertain whether a driver might be driving under the influence.

Avoid these 2 financial mistakes during a Utah divorce

Outside of issues dealing with any children a Utah couple might have, money is often the central issue at the end of a marriage. Each party is struggling to ensure that he or she will not suffer financially after the divorce. Below are two financial mistakes that could derail any other efforts at a secure financial future.

There is no way to avoid at least some financial fallout since the parties are going from supporting one household to each supporting a separate one. However, taking certain actions could help minimize the impact that transition will have. First, the parties should look at any joint accounts they might have.

Salt Lake City suburb councilman will not be charged with DUI

On July 19, a councilman in a suburb of Salt Lake City was charged with hit and run (a class C misdemeanor) after he allegedly left the scene of an accident that occurred in a local tavern's parking lot. He has entered a not guilty plea to the charge. The accident is said to have occurred at approximately 7:30 p.m., but police did not make contact with him until around 8:40 p.m. at his home. Therefore, he was not charged with DUI despite witnesses reporting to police that he was impaired.

Reports indicate that the councilman had one shot of whiskey and four 24-ounce beers on the evening in question. Witnesses reported that he was obviously impaired and another patron drove him home. The councilman came back to the tavern on foot at around 7:30 p.m. to get his car and hit a parked car as he was leaving the parking lot. No injuries were reported as a result of the alleged incident.

It might not be finances that lead to divorce

Money matters are often cited as the reason for the end of marriages here in Utah and around the country. The more couples argue about financial issues, the greater the possibility of divorce. This might make sense, but is it accurate? One study claims that it is not necessarily money that leads to divorce, but it is a couple's division of labor that is a greater predictor. 

In every marriage, there are multitudes of tasks that need to be performed in order to run the household. Some of that work is paid, and some is not. It is the division of paid versus unpaid tasks that the study says is the true indicator of whether a couple will divorce.

Police accuse woman of DUI in fatal accident

Sadly, fatal accidents happen on Utah's roadways far too often. Some of them result in the filing of criminal charges. This is especially true if police suspect an individual of DUI at the time of the crash.

Police were recently called to the scene of a crash involving a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle. Preliminary reports indicate that the passenger car moved into the northbound center lane and then initiated a left turn directly in the path of a southbound motorcycle that was already moving at a high rate of speed. The 43-year-old man riding the motorcycle died from the injuries he suffered in the impact.

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