Spicer, Olin & Associates, P.C. Spicer, Olin & Associates, P.C.

Blacksburg Law Blog

How different drugs impair your driving

Using drugs can make it unsafe to operate a vehicle, just like driving after consuming alcohol. Drugged driving is a widespread issue. An estimated 44% of motorists in deadly accidents test positive for drugs. In 2017, 12.8 million people drove while under the influence of illegal drugs

Illicit, prescription and over the counter drugs can all impair your driving abilities in different ways and lead to criminal charges. It is helpful to know how different drugs can affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

A few important things to consider in a commercial lease

The Blacksburg area can be a great place to start a business, but one of the keys to doing so successfully is picking out the right location for that new enterprise. After all, even in this day of online shopping and service, most businesses will still need some sort of traditional brick-and-mortar presence.

Instead of investing in real estate outright, some business owners may decide that leasing commercial property is the best route to take for their business. In this respect, though, it is important to remember a couple of things about commercial leases. First, unlike a residential lease, they tend to be much more open to negotiation.

Speeding truckers are a hazard in bad weather

Any truck driver traveling too fast on Virginia's roads is a potential hazard to other motorists with whom the trucker is sharing the road.

Even in the best weather conditions, the faster a truck goes, the longer it will take for the vehicle to come to a stop in the event of an emergency. At a highway speed of 65 miles per hour, for instance, it can take a fully loaded truck 525 feet to come to a complete stop, whereas it would take a sedan going the same speed 316 feet.

Legal issues with business mergers and acquisitions

While the biggest mergers and acquisitions make national news, the reality is that a whole range of business organizations of various sizes in Virginia may come to a point in which their leadership wishes to buy another business outright. Alternatively, the leadership may wish to combine forces with another business, perhaps even under a new name. At each stage of the process, a business merger presents legal issues that can be difficult to resolve yet are of utmost importance to the interests of all parties involved.

For instance, once they start discussing the possibility of merging, oftentimes businesses will sign agreements about how their negotiations will proceed. These contracts need to be carefully drafted in order to make sure trade secrets, sensitive financial information and other important and confidential information get the protection they deserve.

Getting a short sale approved

This blog has previously discussed short sales and how they can help Blacksburg, Virginia, homeowners and owners of other property avoid foreclosure and the financial consequences associated therewith.

To summarize those previous posts, a short sale is basically a process by which a homeowner sells their property for less than what they owe on the property. However, the bank agrees to accept the proceeds from the sale in full satisfaction of their loan and to write off the balance owed.

Tractor-trailer accidents are increasing in Virginia

As in nearly every state, semi-truck accidents are on the rise. When fully loaded, an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer can weight upwards of 80,000 pounds. Unevenly distributed weight inside the vehicle can become unstable, causing it to slide, jack-knife or roll over. Added to the mix, standard passenger vehicles only weigh around 4,000 pounds. In an accident with an 80,000-pound big rig, those in the passenger vehicle are less likely to escape without serious injuries or fatalities.

While most truck drivers try to drive responsibly, some trucking companies push them to ignore rest and mileage limits. Speeding and breaking traffic laws become even more problematic when delivery times govern whether a driver is fired. When big trucking companies value profit over lives, the risk of catastrophic heavy-truck accidents increases dramatically.

A domestic violence charge can affect child custody

When a Blacksburg, Virginia, resident faces a criminal charge related to alleged domestic assault, he may realize that jail time, fines and other consequences are real possibilities. Moreover, a conviction related to domestic violence can make it very hard for a person to find a job or continue his education.

However, what some might not realize is that, even more so than other types of crimes, domestic assault convictions come with significant collateral consequences that can interfere with a person's life and goals years or even decades down the road. This is so even if it is a person's first offense and there are no aggravating circumstances.

Hands-free devices may help reduce the number of accidents

A previous post on this blog talked about how the Virginia Legislature passed a law that will ban motorists in this state from holding their phones while their vehicles are in motion. The previous post suggested that, while the law will probably help keep drivers from holding their phones, it may not do much in the way of reducing car accidents related to distracted driving.

However, a recent study offers a slightly different perspective. The study, which involved observing the behavior of Virginia and other motorists, suggested that those who used a hands-free device while talking on their phones actually were less likely to be involved in an accident.

Virginia passes law banning handheld devices

Virginia recently passed a new measure designed to curb the ongoing problem of distracted driving. As opposed to the current law, which critics have described as difficult to effectively enforce, the new measure flat out bans people from holding their cellular phones, as well as other types of technology, while their vehicle is in motion. The new measure does give motorists a little leeway to check phones while stopped at a traffic light or to look at a screen, so long as they are not holding the screen in their hand while they drive.

While proponents of this measure say such laws are statistically proven to prevent people from holding their phones while driving, other analyses suggest that the law might not be enough to curb the broader problem of general in-car distractions. For instance, there has been no conclusive proof that these laws actually reduce the number of car accidents. It could be that Virginians are engaging in distracted driving, but they are doing so without holding their phones.

At a certain point, drowsy driving is like drunk driving

Although some unfortunately do take the risk, many people in Blacksburg, Virginia, would never dream of getting behind the wheel while drunk, or even if they suspected that they might be drunk.

However, if one trusts the results of a recent study, these very same people may be more than willing to get behind the wheel when they have had inadequate sleep or are otherwise just too tired to drive.

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Spicer, Olin & Associates, P.C.

Spicer, Olin & Associates, P.C.
504 S Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Phone: 540-315-8799
Phone: 540-315-8799
Fax: 540-951-5139
Blacksburg Office Location