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Lincoln Nebraska Law Blog

Drunk driving: These facts may surprise you in Nebraska

Drunk driving is a serious problem in the United States. It's believed that around 29 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in 2015 were a result of drunk driving in 2015. Drunk driving costs the American people around $44 billion annually and results in the deaths of around 10,000.

Although that seems like a high number of deaths, it's important to point out that drunk-driving fatalities have actually dropped by 57 percent between 1982 and 2014. A great deal of the decrease is a result of law enforcement restricting drivers from driving while intoxicated and getting them off the streets if they do.

A fake ID is not a rite of passage

In a matter of weeks, your child will be heading off to college. Whether that means a short drive to the University of Nebraska or a trip to another state, the thought of your child leaving home may be filling you with a mixture of nostalgia and glee. You likely have your concerns as well.

Certainly, there are countless reasons for you to walk the floor with worry about your child's safety and welfare. Among those concerns may be the possibility that your precious child will find trouble with the law. One of the fastest ways this can happen is if your child tries to buy alcohol with a fake ID.

A criminal record can impact your schooling in Nebraska

A criminal background check does have the potential to reduce your career possibilities after you're convicted of a crime. There are certain kinds of jobs that require background checks, like those that require you to work with the vulnerable.

In Nebraska, if you're a student at the University of Nebraska who is looking to work in hospitals, community agencies, with children or with the vulnerable, you may need to have a background check before you can be placed into the program. The background check is unable to be substituted for the safety of those individuals. All undergraduates and graduates who are pursuing degrees or education in early childhood programs, renewing their endorsements, obtaining their initial teacher certification or job shadowing must have this background check. Others may need the check as well.

Can you divide equity if you're not married?

If you're friends who want to buy property or live with a boyfriend or girlfriend when you want to purchase a home, then you're in a situation where you'll share an asset. For many people who purchase property in this way, the main concern is, "what happens if the friendship comes to an end?"

Unlike in a marriage, assets aren't automatically divided according to law when you decide to split up. If you decide to go your separate ways and aren't married, you'll want to make sure you are protected and can obtain the equity you want out of the property.

Father killed in motorcycle accident on Old Highway 275

Imagine waking up knowing that something is wrong. You feel fine, but you know that someone you care about has been injured. That happened in this case when a woman woke up worrying about her husband. Hours later, she found out that he had been killed in a traffic accident. He left her and their young child behind.

The man, 24, was headed home after working the night shift at Valmont Industries in Valley. He was riding a motorcycle on Old Highway 275. A semi-truck heading east attempted to make a left turn onto Nebraska Highway 36, but the turn cut off the motorcyclist. That's when the accident happened and took the man's life.

Are truck drivers becoming more dangerous?

Truck drivers have a responsibility to those on the roads in smaller vehicles. They need to be alert and awake behind the wheel. They need to pay attention, and they need to stay sober. As more trucks hit the roads thanks to a recovering economy, it's more important than ever that drivers are safe.

The problem in America is that trucks are getting more dangerous. As the trucking industry pushes the government to loosen regulations, it means that drivers get less sleep, fewer breaks and push themselves to the limits. That can result in serious injuries and deaths as a result of collisions.

Is Nebraska an equitable distribution state?

Nebraska is an equitable distribution state. That means that if you decide to get a divorce, your assets should be divided equitably between you and your spouse. What is equitable? It's not 50/50. Instead, it's based on what is fair for each party.

When you try to divide your assets equitably, you first must decide which assets are marital assets and which are personal property. Marital assets are assets you share or have collected since you became married. Personal assets are things like inheritances or items you owned before your marriage. Bank accounts that have been kept separate may also be personal property.

Did you know you can challenge breath test results in a DUI?

Over the past few decades, most Nebraska residents have learned to trust technology. How many times have you heard the phrase, "computers don't lie?" So when you ended up being pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, you may not have questioned the results of the breath test that said you were at or above the legal limit.

The problem is that you should question the results. Breath testing machines are not infallible. Like other electronic devices, they may not lie, but they may be wrong since these machines also require routine maintenance and calibration just like any other device. In addition, like computers and smartphones, they are only as good as the person using them.

Distracted driving: The risk to you and other drivers is real

Distracted drivers make everyone on the road a little less safe. Everyone knows that talking on the phone, eating behind the wheel or texting while driving can result in accidents. Despite that, some people still decide to drive while distracted, putting their lives and the lives of others at risk.

SmartIQ Snapshot released data in April that shows that most distracted drivers are less safe than other drivers overall. They commit more errors and fundamental mistakes than others, including speeding. Some statistics reported by the Snapshot analytics platform included that distracted drivers are 36 percent more likely to end up involved in near-misses than other drivers. The same drivers are 84 percent more likely to go through a red light or stop sign, putting others at risk.

Plea deal results in short prison term for woman

Killing someone when you're drunk behind the wheel can lead to homicide charges. These charges carry their own penalties that you need to defend yourself against.

For example, take the case of this woman. The woman in Columbus pleaded no contest to a charge for felony motor vehicle homicide. As a result of the no contest plea, she was sentenced to 180 days in jail and will only serve 72. As long as she complies with the terms of probation, she could lower the 180 days by 90.