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Having a plan is beneficial when negotiating child custody

If you are considering getting a divorce, there are porbably a number of different matters weighing on your mind. Given the gravity and finality of a divorce, you probably have concerns and maybe some anxiety about how to proceed, especially if there are children involved.

Child custody matters are almost always the toughest issues in the dissolution of a marraige. However, like other areas of divorce and life in general, preparation and planning are often very beneficial and will serve you well in negotiating an agreement with your spouse that is in the best interests of your kids.

Vehicular assault or homicide conviction has significant penalty

Summer holidays are often an opportunity for friends and family to gather and enjoy time together. Fishing, swimming, boating and other outdoor activities are often on the agenda. Picnic lunches with conversation and alcohol are also often a part of the agenda. Unfortunately, this combination can become a problem if an accident later occurs on a Colorado roadway and someone is injured or killed. When this happens, in addition to DUI charges, the driver can also face vehicular assault or homicide charges.

Recently, after a holiday fishing trip, the driver of a Ford Explorer apparently veered across the center lane and into boulders along the other side of the road. The Explorer came to rest in a group of trees close to the river bank. The four passengers were injured in the accident and transported to local hospitals.

Field sobriety tests are not 100 percent accurate

Colorado law enforcement officers are always on the lookout for impaired drivers. Any time a driver appears to deviate from the norm, it is possible that an officer will spot such action and decide to stop the driver. Once this occurs, if the officer suspects that the driver has been drinking, he or she will likely ask the driver to perform voluntary roadside manuevers, more commonly referred to as field sobriety tests.

One of the tests the officer may perform is the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. Utilizing this test, the officer will analyze the movement of the driver's eyes as he or she follows a slow moving object, usually a pen light. Research indicates that officers who have been properly trained are able to accurately identify an impaired driver 88 percent of the time by utilizing this particular test.

Summer brings increased DUI patrols

Expect to see local police and Colorado State Patrol out in force again over the coming weekend as well as the remainder of summer. Colorado law enforcement officers are once again ramping up their efforts to reduce drunk driving across the state. As such, they will be out and about looking for those whom they suspect of DUI.

According to law enforcment, last year the summer months produced the most DUI-related deaths. This is not surprising as the summer months often include the opportunity to visit with family and friends which often involves the consumption and enjoyment of alcoholic beverages. In order to combat this deadly uptick, officers will be increasing DUI patrols and sobriety checkpoints over the coming months.

Breathalyzers and blood alcohol tests

The legal standard throughout Colorado and America in general is that a person is innocent until and unless proven guilty. The presumption of innocence is a constiuationally-guaranteed right of all Americans, and while this is a noble concept, it is unfortunately a standard that -- though often talked about -- causes one to wonder if it is actually being practiced. One example of this concerns Breathalyzers used as a form of blood alcohol testing.

Several studies have called into question the reliability of the Breathalyzer in accurately establishing a blood alcohol level for a specific individual. On the surface, the entire process appears to be scientific in nature. However, these studies indicate that there is a wide margin for error and show that results are not consistent from person to person.

Drafting a prenup is not planning for a marriage to fail

Engagement is an exciting time for Colorado couples as they plan a wedding and begin to make plans to start their lives as a married couple. During this time of preparation, few people want to think about the possibility that it will not last, but it can be quite practical to plan for certain contingencies in the future.

One of the ways to plan for the future and protect one's interests is to draft a prenuptial agreement. While you may think that this is only necessary for a wealthy couple or a couple where there are significant assets involved, it can be a positive effort for anyone, regardless of wealth and income level.

Vehicular homicide charge results in 12-year prison sentence

In seconds, your life can be altered by the bad decision to drink and drive, and you can find yourself in a hospital bed or jail sell facing criminal charges as a defendant Colorado's criminal justice system. What's worse, the bad decision can result in the loss of someone else's life. Too often a choice to drink and drive ends with the death of an innocent motorist, cyclist or pedestrian and charges of vehicular homicide for the intoxicated driver.

When this happens, the survivors lives are forever changed. This past June, a 24-year-old woman was driving after consuming alcohol. She struck a bicyclist with her car and then left the scene of the accident. The bicyclist died as a result of his injuries. The woman was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentence to 12 years in prison.

Division of property can be a sticky ordeal during divorce

Divorce is hardly ever an easy process no matter how long or short of a time you have been married. The legal issues that tend to cause the most headaches during this type of family law proceeding are marital property and debt division.

In the state of Colorado, both marital liabilities and assets are split in an equitable manner between both spouses. What is equitable and fair depends on the individual case. This is why the division of property is one of the most hotly contested matters during the dissolution of a marriage.

Summer season kicks off season of DUI checkpoints

Holiday weekends, family barbecues and summer picnics are here. Along with these relaxing, fun-filled activities come good food, friends and social drinking. While this may be a great combination at the time, once it is time to go home, unless a designated driver has been appointed, there may be a problem. Colorado law enforcement has publicized the fact that they will be utilizing DUI checkpoints throughout the summer season as one way to curb drinking and driving.

Most of the time, these checkpoints are set up during evening hours. Officers will often create a roadblock at an intersection and require all drivers to stop. As a driver approaches the intersection, officers will generally request to see his or her driver's license, registration and insurance card.

Blood alcohol tests and express consent

Every morning thousands of drivers start their day just like you. They get into  and start their car, pull onto the road, and head toward their particular destination. Presumably these individuals have a driver's license and know how to drive, but this is not always the case. The state of Colorado makes is called express consent.  That means by simply conducting the act of driving, the driver gives law enforcement permission to require said driver to submit to a blood alcohol tests or breath test to determine intoxication.  This law has the same force and effect whether the driver is aware of it or not.  Failure to comply for first time offenders resultes in the loss of the driver's license for one year.

Blood alcohol tests or breath tests are typically conducted if there is reason to believe that a driver is legally impaired. They often involve either taking a blood sample to determine blood alcohol levels or conducting a breath test. The results of this test are then used, along with other evidence and investigative obervations, to prove at a trial that the individual was driving under the influence of alcohol.