Newark Criminal Defense Law Blog

Study reveals the most dangerous cities for drivers

It has long been speculated that certain cities are more dangerous to travel in than others. However, a recent report from Allstate specifically shows which cities are the most dangerous for drivers. While no New Jersey cities landed on the dreaded worst 15 list, none made the list of the 15 safest either.

California tops the list of states with the riskiest cities to drive in. Of the worst 15 cities, six of them are located in the Golden State. They include Glendale, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Pasadena and Hayward. Overall, Baltimore was listed as the most dangerous city for motorists. This was followed by Washington, D.C., and Boston.

The harsh consequences of moving violations

You may expect severe penalties for a DUI conviction or causing a serious accident. However, you may not give much thought to the penalties for traffic offenses, such as speeding, running a red light or tailgating. In fact, you may be like many who prefer to accept the charges, pay the fine and go on with life. However, paying a fine may not be the end of your penalties.

New Jersey, like other states, has a points system in place. Certain moving violations can result in points on your license. As these points accumulate, the consequences become more severe.

Study highlights need for supervised release reform

Probation and parole programs in New Jersey and around the country are designed to reduce prison populations and help offenders to get their lives back on track, but a recently released report from the Council of State Governments suggests that supervised release fails almost as often as it succeeds. The Kentucky-based nonprofit organization's Justice Center gathered parole and probation data from all 50 states, and its researchers found that nearly half of the people sent to state prisons each year are jailed for violating the conditions of their supervised release.

The CSG report also reveals that incarcerating people for parole or probation violations costs states $9.3 billion each year, and almost a third of this money is spent sending people to jail for minor technical violations such as missing an appointment or not showing up for a drug test. In New Jersey, 27% of the individuals sent to state prison each year are incarcerated for supervised release violations. They make up 14% of the state prison population.

Hed: New Jersey can be dangerous for pedestrians

Many people enjoy walking around the city. Whether it’s to work or simply for fun, the exercise and open air can be refreshing. It can also put someone at risk of serious injury or death in the event of a traffic accident.

According to the State Police, car crashes killed 565 people in New Jersey in 2018. Of those, 175 were pedestrians, meaning they were on foot at the time. In Essex County alone 25 pedestrians were killed that year, nearly double the number of drivers (13) that died in traffic accidents. For a time, the Federal Highway Administration even considered Newark a “focus city” as it looked to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths.

Safety tips that may help New Jersey residents avoid accidents

New Jersey residents who are concerned about road safety have a right to be worried considering that vehicle collisions in the United States are the current leading cause of death in pedestrians, drivers and passengers between 2 and 34 years of age. Fortunately, many motor vehicle accidents are preventable. Drivers should consider following several safety tips that might help them avoid accidents.

First, drivers should make sure they follow the law at all times. They should never drive under the influence, and they should avoid habits such as speeding, failure to stop at red lights and stop signs, failure to yield and failure to use their headlights when it is dark outside or there is inclement weather.

Keto diet may cause breath test false positives

An odd circumstance regarding the defendant's diet got DUI charges dropped in a recent case. Readers in New Jersey might be interested in the case's demonstration of challenges to prosecution evidence in a drunk driving case. In the case, the defendant was pulled over and given a field sobriety test, during which he seemed largely fine. When the driver blew into a breath testing device, he tested above the legal limit for alcohol.

His attorney learned that the driver had been on the keto diet, and also learned that some breath testing machines cannot tell the difference between isopropyl alcohol and ethanol alcohol. These facts were relevant because when people are on the keto diet, their livers break down fat to use as fuel, which has acetone as a byproduct. When people who are on the keto diet breathe into some breath tests, the devices pick up on the acetone that is released in the person's breath as isopropyl alcohol.

Legal status of marijuana products causing big problems for some

In most parts of the United States, it is common to ask: “Is marijuana legal now?” If you live in New Jersey, you may be especially unsure of the answer. As of the time of this writing, marijuana is legal for certain medical purposes and a bill legalizing recreational use is currently working its way through the state legislature (without a guaranteed outcome).

Of course, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, but federal lawmakers recently legalized the sale of hemp, which is very similar to marijuana except in one very important way: It contains nearly none of the high-causing chemical THC that is found in pot. With such a confusing patchwork of state and federal laws as well as a patchwork of legal and illegal marijuana-derived products, how is anyone supposed to know which side of the law they are on?

Drug distribution: What you need to know

It’s no secret that drug abuse in a nationwide epidemic. It’s hard to turn on the news or open a paper these days without reading about deaths from overdoses.

Legislative bodies around the country are creating laws to slow the flow of drugs – from better securing our ports to monitoring how doctors prescribe medications. But when talking about moving drugs, it’s important to know what the terms mean.

Will ‘driving while stoned’ jam New Jersey courts?

New Jersey joined the conversation of legalizing cannabis with a new proposal from local representatives. Before the bill even hit the house floor, critics vocalized concerns about marijuana legalization, including how the court will handle driving while “stoned.”

Writers of the bill stated the proposal includes heightened police training and drug enforcement to prevent drivers from traveling while impaired. According to John S. Sitzler, a Hainesport lawyer who has specialized in DUI cases, it may cause alarms for future cases.

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