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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

DUI suspected by school bus driver in Utah

Recently, some students and parents from various schools in Utah were on a field trip. A school bus driver was assigned to transport the group. During the trip, something caused the 39-year-old driver to begin driving in a manner characterized as "erratic," which led to her subsequent arrest on suspicion of DUI.

One concerned parent called 911 from on the bus, indicating that she was afraid for the safety of the passengers. During that same time, another driver on the road also contacted authorities regarding the bus.  Police were dispatched to pull over the vehicle. Troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol on the scene suspected that the driver might have taken prescription medication found in her belongings. 

Child custody battle that crosses state lines put on hold

Utah readers may be aware that the fate of a 9-year-old girl hangs in the balance while two families await the decision of an appeals court in the state she knew as home from the time she was an infant until January of this year. The child custody battle began when her father was released from prison. Now, her adoptive family hopes they will get to see her again.

While the girl's biological father was in prison, he was stripped of his parental rights. At that time, the foster family who took her in as an infant adopted her. When the man was released after being given a reduced sentence, he wanted his daughter back. The adoption was nullified, and the girl was sent out-of-state to live with her father.

Police suspect DUI in death of bicycle rider in Utah

On a recent night at the end of September, a BMX racer from Utah was out for a bicycle ride. At some point, he was struck from behind by a car and died. The driver of that car was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI.

Reports indicate that the bicycle rider initially survived the crash and was taken to a hospital in the area. He suffered trauma to his back, neck and head. Despite the efforts of medical personnel, he recently died.

Preparing a post-divorce financial life

A divorce is not only the end of a marriage, it is also the beginning of a new life for each party. When going through a divorce, it is important to look to the future when negotiating a property settlement. This requires a thorough look at a Utah couple's finances.

All of the assets and liabilities of the couple need to be both accounted for and have their true value determined. When it comes to a couple's joint liabilities, creditors are not going to abide by a divorce settlement. Debts either need to be settled before the divorce is final, or the party that will not be responsible for that debt needs to be removed from it. This will preclude the possibility of a creditor coming back to that party for payment if the other party fails to pay the obligation.

Chase ends with driver charged with DUI and eluding police

It is never advisable for a driver to avoid stopping when a police officer initiates a traffic stop. Unfortunately, this nearly always leads to an additional criminal charge and could provide police officers in Utah with probable cause once the vehicle is stopped, which could complicate a driver's criminal defense strategy. This could be the case for an individual facing being charged with DUI and eluding police.

According to reports, the driver of what was determined to be a rental car was acting "suspicious" to officers. It is unclear whether the officers made that vague determination during a traffic stop or while the vehicle was in motion. Either way, police say that the driver led officers on a chase at speeds up to 80 mph at times. 

Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie sign prenup in case they divorce

Utah residents who keep up with celebrity gossip may already know that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie recently got married. Before doing so, they reportedly negotiated and signed a prenuptial agreement just in case they ever get a divorce.  A prenup can make a divorce less complicated and contentious.

Pitt and Jolie each came to the marriage with substantial fortunes. Pitt reportedly has a fortune of nearly $240 million, while Jolie was doing alright with approximately $185 million. They reportedly agreed that each of them would walk away with those amounts if their marriage ends. 

Will blood test be suppressed in former Utah officer's DUI case?

A single vehicle accident involving a man and four children in February of this year led to a drunk driving charge against the former Utah sheriff's lieutenant ("Utah sheriff's lieutenant resigns after being charged with DUI," March 17, 2014). In May, he pleaded not guilty to the DUI charge. During his recently held pretrial conference, the trial previously scheduled for September 19 was canceled until a motion to suppress filed in August by his counsel can be heard.

According to the motion, the man's counsel is seeking to have the blood alcohol test conducted around the time of his arrest thrown out. It is alleged that the test was done without his consent and without a warrant. This would be a violation of his constitutional rights.

What are the different ways child custody is granted?

For parents in Utah who are getting a divorce, the main concern is usually the custody of the children. Adding to that concern is the confusion surrounding the different ways in which child custody can be awarded. For instance, many parents may not realize that there is a distinction between physical custody and legal custody.

Physical custody, as the term implies, is granted to the parent who the children will physically live with after the divorce. The children will spend the majority of their time with the parent who is given sole physical custody. Visitation rights are normally granted to the other parent. When a court awards joint physical custody to the parents, it does not necessarily mean the children live with each parent equally. However, the children do spend a significant amount of time with each parent.

What is implied consent in relation to a DUI charge?

Some Utah residents may have heard that refusing to take a breath test when suspected of driving under the influence makes it more difficult for prosecutors to prove impairment. That may be true, but it also may not stop you from facing a DUI charge. Further, there are risks involved with such a refusal.

This is because all states, including Utah, have what are called laws of implied consent. When you applied and tested to obtain your driver's license, you consented to undergo testing if you are ever suspected of being impaired while driving. This includes field sobriety tests and breath tests.

What happens after a Utah divorce is filed?

Even if a Utah resident knows that his or her marriage is ending, hearing that a spouse has filed for divorce can be disconcerting. Many people have no idea what to expect, and how each party reacts is far from predictable. The divorce can be either amicable or contentious, and which way it will go often depends on how each party handles the stress and emotional roller coaster that goes along with the process.

The one thing that both spouses can count on is that there will be an end to the process at some point. What happens in between the initial filing and the final hearing is largely up to the parties. Both parties may feel as if they have no control, and some people spend the whole time maneuvering to regain that control.

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