What to know about Fiesta Time in San Antonio?
First on a personal note, I have been inducted into the group called “ The Rey Feo Consejo Educational Foundation”. Los Consejeos (the advisors) is a volunteer not for profit charitable based group of business and civic leaders that raises money each year to help fund needy students that want to go to college. This group grew out of El Rey Feo Scholarship Foundation that originally was founded by LUILAC Council Number 2 (of which I am a member) whose goal is to raise money to award scholarships to underprivileged and deserving college students. If you know of any students needing college money, please let me know so I can see what can be done to help them!
Injury: Did you know that more drunk driving accidents and arrests will happen during the days of Fiesta than any other month?
For example, in 2009, a mother who had been looking forward to taking her family to celebrate the Fiesta Parade, suddenly lost her life due to a drunk driver heading the wrong way on IH35 crashed into her car killing her according to a story in the Express-News (see story below). Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) says that 2 out of 3 people will be impacted by a drunk driving at some time in their lifetime in the United States. While I wish none of my friends, clients or family ever need me to help them through the legal process of a drunk driving crash, I know until we outlaw any alcohol there will always be drunk drivers in San Antonio (or elsewhere). Over the years, I have been able to help many people who are run into and seriously hurt or killed by a drunk driver. In some cases, it was just a once in a lifetime mistake by someone who did not take safety precautions before they drank too much and got behind the wheel. Sometimes it was by a habitual drunk who does not care about anyone they hurt or lives they change. Either way, drunk driving crashes can be violent and change lives. In some past cases for example, I have been able to help a family with an insurance settlement from the car insurance of the drunk driver that has paid for medical bills, car repairs, and unfortunately even funeral expenses. In some cases, the drunk had no insurance, no license, and no money to pay for the damage that the drunk caused. These are the worst injustice. But even in those situations, in some cases, I have been able to pass on valuable information to the district attorney’s office that helped secure a strong conviction against the drunk driver as some justice for the family as well as serve as a deterrence on drunk drivers. If you plan to drive to Fiesta Events this year, and you plan to drive late hours, here is a tip: If you are driving late at night on a highway or multi lane road, try to keep your car and driving in the middle lane or right slower lane. Try not to stay in the left faster passing lane. Drunk or impaired drivers who drive in the wrong lane sometimes get onto a ramp or wrong entrance and end up driving the opposite and wrong way by using and driving on your passing lane, wrongly thinking that that is their lane of travel. It may not always work, but it is one more way to increase your chances for survival. If you get hit by a drunk driver, it is important to call me immediately right after you call and notify your family. No matter what time, I can get to the crash scene and make sure fast and proper investigation is undertaken such as photographs of the scene, the cars, the drunk driver’s conduct, securing witnesses to the crash. This is important to help you in the long run.
Criminal Law: Fiesta time is certain to bring out law enforcement looking for drunk drivers.
If you are going to go to Fiesta events and drink alcohol and then drive, please drink plenty of water, limit your drinking, and have options available in case it is not safe for you to drive. Have Uber or Lyft phone numbers in your cell phone, go with a friend who does not drink or drinks only one beverage. Sleep it off in your car if you have to, but please do not drive. Being drunk and driving is illegal. If you are stopped for suspected drunk driving you need to know that even if you pass a breath test, you can still be arrested. It has happened. Also, if the police officer tells you if you blow and you pass, he will let you go, it is not necessarily true. If you feel you were not drunk, here are some tips to look for or go over with your attorney: is there some other possible cause than drinking alcohol that could give you false signs of intoxication? Such as allergies can cause red blood shot and watery eyes. Some medications can make you look drowsy, some illnesses can come on suddenly such as high or low blood pressure drop, dizziness, sometimes, hitting a curb can cause a car to swerve. These are all things that could lead a police officer to stop you and assume you were drunk driving even though you are not drunk. If you used a credit card to record you only bought one or two drinks then get those receipts to prove you did not over drink alcohol. If it happens that you are arrested, remember that the officer may have a video camera on his person and most likely will have a camera on you if you are placed in the back of the police car. It will record anything and everything you say and how you say it. Many officers will talk to you in an effort to get you to implicate yourself and prove your guilty. You do not have to answer any questions the police officer asks you, other than your name. You should be respectful, but always state that you refuse to answer or do any test (which are not valid tests) and that you are represented by me. Finally, remember if you do get arrested, do not panic, please contact me immediately and you will get through the process and be released as quickly as possible.
Family Law: With Fiesta in April, summer is right around the corner.
People who have minor children and separated or gone thru a divorce know that visitation changes during the summer when kids are out of school. Some of our clients and their exes work it out without a fight, this is called “mutual agreement.” I would rather have this happen that you have to hire an attorney.
But sometimes when it cannot be worked out, you have to resort to the visitation rules and times written out in the decree of divorce. The person who has visitation rights must give WRITTEN notice 14 days in advance…and it must be for a time on or after April 16 of each year. You do that, and the law, as stated in the regular decree entitles you to 30 days, but not more than two separate periods. You will still have to pay any court ordered child support during your periods of possession. If you need to enforce those rules of visitation or you need to make sure the person in custody is not endangering your child, and you want to take it to court, call me.
Thanks, have a happy and safe Fiesta 2018.
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