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St Patricks Day dog – french bulldog

It is hard to believe that it’s already St. Patrick’s Day!  Whether you are Irish or not, we wish everyone a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day.  This year March 17th falls on a Sunday which means that anyone out on St. Patty’s night may reconsider because they have to work on Monday. That being said, anyone out and about on St. Patrick’s Day should still expect a significant amount of people out to celebrate the greenest day of the year.  While we wish everyone a safe and happy time, we want to make a reminder that there is never a good day to drink and drive!

Please consider the following if you are going to be celebrating with alcohol on March 17th or any other day of the year:

There is no excuse for drunk driving.  There are multiple ways that anyone drinking outside of their home can catch a ride home without having to put their own or someone else’s life at risk.  Take a cab, a bus, a train, an Uber, a Lyft or even walk if you can do so safely.  Call a friend, call your mom, call anyone but do not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking!

Paying for a ride home is cheaper than paying for a DUI. Besides the many obvious reasons that you should never drink and drive, remember that a DUI and related traffic offenses and car accidents can be expensive!  Not only do you have to consider legal fees and fines and citations, but consider that a DUI or DUI car accident can result in a lot of bad scenarios that affect your wallet.  If you have a DUI on your record, you could lose your job and future opportunities for employment. Having a DUI  on your record if you work in certain fields or aspire to have a certain profession can completely end someone’s lifelong goal of obtaining and keeping a certain job.  If that isn’t bad enough how about the fact that having a DUI on your record is certainly going to make an impact on the amount of money that you pay for car insurance, assuming that you ever get your license back.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is stupid. There isn’t much to add to this one.  Being drunk or high while you are driving is just plain dumb.

If you are driving under the influence you are playing with people’s lives.  Nobody really likes being told what to do by someone else.  If you think about it, if you are drinking and driving. you are essentially making safety and possibly life altering decisions for other people that are also driving and walking on the roads while you are driving drunk.  You are potentially making a decision for them that may result in their serious injury or death.  Nobody has the right to make that choice for anyone else!

Enough lecturing already!  We want everyone to have a safe and fun time whenever they go out and especially on a fun day like St. Patty’s day. However as injury lawyers, our Charlotte, NC team of experienced attorneys unfortunately all too often sees the results of drunk driving accidents.  We see the injuries and we see the consequences for our clients and for the drunk drivers. Drunk driving accidents are 1oo percent preventable.  Just don’t do it – ever!

Our Charlotte, NC Injury team represents accident victims and focuses helping people that have been hurt by the negligence of others.  We have been serving our communities for more than 20 years and we do so with pride.  If you or anyone you has been hurt by a drunk driver or anyone else, we are happy to talk to see if we can help.  It all starts by calling our office or submitting a request for a free case evaluation through our website for us to call you. We are experienced and compassionate lawyers and we fight for our clients every day.  Please let us know if we can help!

family riding bikes in raleighIt’s been a cold, dreary winter this year in Raleigh, and it sometimes seems like warm weather won’t ever be back. But just like all seasons, spring will come — in fact, it’s just around the corner! Before spring arrives, it’s a good idea to plan a few weekend activities for you and the family to make sure you’re getting out and soaking in the sunshine.

One of the best ways the whole family can enjoy the outdoors is with a bike ride. Raleigh is the perfect place for people of all ages to enjoy a bicycle ride, whether they’re 5 for 50.

Here are four of the best places for safe bike riding in Raleigh this spring:

1. Neuse River Greenway Trail

Neuse River Greenway Trail is a beautiful park that offers views of some of the most stunning landscapes in Raleigh. There are 27.5 miles of paved trail, which cuts through woods, wetlands and open fields as it follows the Neuse River.

The Neuse River Greenway Trail is a part of the Capital Area Greenway System and is also a segment of the long-distance Mountain-to-Sea Trail, which runs from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. The wide-paved trail and relatively flat terrain make it a perfect destination for families.

2. Shelley Lake Park

For a shorter circuit, be sure to check out Shelley Lake Park. This park offers two miles of paved trails around the lake. You and your family can enjoy the scenery while you ride your bikes around this generally flat trail.

While you’re at Shelley Lake Park, be sure to check out everything else that’s available. There are basketball courts, playgrounds, and art center and more. It’s a great location to go for a bike ride, have a picnic and enjoy the spring weather!

3. Durant Nature Preserve

If you have older kids or are looking for a challenging bike ride for yourself, Durant Nature Preserve is a great choice. There are five miles of trails throughout the park, and some of them are designated for mountain biking. These are dirt trails, so make sure you have the right bike for the job!

If you are bringing younger kids to the Preserve, there are a lot of other activities to enjoy. There is a bird garden, a butterfly garden, a nature play garden and more. You and your kids can learn all about the wildlife in Durant Nature Preserve, then have a picnic at one of the many provided tables!

4. Downtown Raleigh

Since 2009, Raleigh has been creating bicycle lanes throughout the city. Now, there are over 28 miles of bike lanes and shared lane markings throughout the city. There’s even a bike-share program to help locals get around the city! If you have older kids who know how to ride a bike safely, riding through the City of Raleigh is a great weekend activity.

There are tons of things to do in Raleigh that you can enjoy while you’re riding a bike. History, art and science museums can be found all over the city, as are fantastic restaurants. If you are riding with friends or family who are of age, Raleigh has some of the best breweries in the country (just be sure to not ride your bike if you get inebriated). The possibilities are endless!

box of donutsDespite having an area population nearly a million strong, Raleigh often sits under the radar when it comes to people looking for hip destinations. Fortunately, that’s just the way locals like it! Between being able to grab a craft cocktail without a long wait or knowing the perfect spot for chicken and waffles on a Sunday morning, Raleigh’s citizens enjoy some enticing delicacies all on the down-low.

Area business owners look out for their customers, too, with secret menu options and plenty of TLC given to their atmosphere. However, even the most careful business can neglect customer safety in some ways, resulting in an injury. When this happens, natives know that they can rely on a trustworthy personal injury attorney in Raleigh to represent their case and get them fair compensation for their claim.

To help you enjoy Raleigh like locals do, bookmark these four local hotspots that are sure to wind up in your regular going out routine!

Duck Donuts

Duck Donuts, 8323 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh, NC 27613

Duck Donuts may be a franchise, but the intimate atmosphere and the fact that workers know many customers on a first-name basis could easily fool you. This Pennsylvania-based chain has only 69 locations around the U.S., and Raleigh is blessed to be one of them. Donuts are fried and baked from scratch every morning. Inventive flavor options include maple bacon, lemon, strawberry, and the not-so-secret French toast donut.

Boxcar Bar + Arcade

330 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Housed in a renovated industrial building, Boxcar Bar + Arcade has the charm of a hipster hotspot awash in nostalgia you probably haven’t felt since your six-year-old birthday party. The owners curate a jaw-dropping selection of authentic, original arcade machines that run the gamut from Street Fighter to Guitar Hero. There’s also plenty of classic pinball machines as well as air hockey, skeeball, and a host of vintage consoles. Come for the games, but stay for amazing specials and the wide selection of microbrews.

Beasley’s Chicken + Honey

237 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Don’t let the hip interior and ultra-modern menu designs fool you: Beasley’s Chicken + Honey is anything but fussy! It serves up classic Southern treats at reasonable prices, making it a local’s favorite. Just make sure to get there early for brunch; the line gets long!

José and Sons

327 W Davie St #102, Raleigh, NC 27601

Authentic and inventive, José and Sons has developed a cult following in Raleigh for good reason. The chiccarones and waffles may be a big component of this notoriety, but the menu is also bursting with tons of other inspired latin x Southern fusion ideas. Come for a filling dish and refreshing drink, and then come back week after week because it’s just that good!

Other Outstanding Locals’ Spots in Raleigh, NC

These are just four of the most flavorful fun spots in Raleigh you’ll find packed to the gills with locals. There’s also a number of others worth mentioning, including: Fiction Kitchen, Clouds Brewing, Brewery Bhavana, Raleigh Beer Garden, the Pearson Street Pharmacy Cafe, and the institution that is Big Ed’s downtown.

The next time you find yourself wondering where to go in Raleigh, just follow the locals! These outstanding options are popular for a reason, so you really can’t go wrong.

Don’t Drive if you are Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs!

  • N.C. statutes say that you’re still DWI even if your Rx was legal
  • 11% of drug-impaired drivers in fatal accidents tested positive for opioids
  • Half of older adults say they take multiple prescriptions yet still drive

don't drive while using prescription pillsMany North Carolina drivers have the false impression that they can legally drive after taking drugs so long as those drugs were legally prescribed. In fact, North Carolina DWI law dictates that driving under the influence of any “impairing substance” is a crime, and having legal permission to consume that substance is not a reasonable defense.

Driving under the influence of prescription drugs is an extremely common problem, not just in North Carolina, but also in the United States as a whole. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association found that in 2016, 44% of drivers who died in car accidents were flagged as positive when tested for drugs in autopsy.  Roughly 11% of these drivers tested positive for opioids.

Opioids and many other types of prescription drugs can have dangerous side effects on par with (and sometimes worse than) the effects of alcohol or controlled substances. When drivers make the mistake of taking these drugs before getting behind the wheel, they put all North Carolinians at risk.

Victims of car accidents caused by these drivers can receive major injuries and rack up huge medical bills. The unfortunate circumstances surrounding injury accidents often influence the decision to hire a car accident attorney in Charlotte to represent their claims against at fault drivers and their insurers. Experienced injury attorneys are tasked with fighting hard for their clients in order to recover their full compensation that the law provides for injury victims.

You should already know that it is never a good idea to drive if you are under the influence of any drugs, alcohol or other substances that are going to affect how you drive. It is worth noting that the problem of intoxicated driving is still a huge problem!  Consider the following facts about prescription drugs and North Carolina law.

North Carolina DWI Statutes Make No Room for Legally Prescribed Drugs

Even though North Carolina’s DWI statutes don’t mention prescription drugs specifically, the laws are still quite specific about the fact that a legal prescription doesn’t make it ok to drive under the influence.

North Carolina General Statute § 20-138.1. states that, “a person commits the offense of impaired driving if he drives any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within this State while under the influence of an impairing substance.”

  • 20-4.01. defines an “Impairing Substance” as follows: “Alcohol, controlled substance under Chapter 90 of the General Statutes, any other drug or psychoactive substance capable of impairing a person’s physical or mental faculties, or any combination of these substances.”

More importantly, the statute goes on to mention a specific “Defense Precluded” clause, which refers to a defense that will automatically be regarded as invalid by the court. The clause states: “The fact that a person charged with violating this section is or has been legally entitled to use alcohol or a drug is not a defense to a charge under this section.”

In other words, North Carolina DWI laws make no exception for any prescription drugs that are “capable of impairing a person’s physical or mental faculties.” The fact that they have been legally prescribed does not make any difference, as far as the law is concerned.

If you are driving under the influence — whether the substance was legally acquired or not — you are breaking the law.

Many Prescription Medications Can Impair Driving

Most people tend to think of legal drugs and illegal drugs in separate categories. The thought goes: “As long as I am not over the legal limit for drunk driving or under the influence of illegal drugs, I can’t possibly be too impaired to drive!”

This thought process is an unfortunate result of a lack of information given to the public regarding the dangers of some prescription medications — and many over-the-counter remedies, as well. While many of these products contain warnings, they are usually not given with the same sense of gravity as a bartender worrying about a patron driving home. Perhaps their manufacturers do not want their drugs to be associated with the same kinds of psychoactive or impairing effects that illegal drugs create, but the result is uninformed decision making that leads to driving under the influence.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) cautions people to be aware that a broad range of prescription and over-the-counter medicines can negatively affect drivers’ abilities, including: “prescription drugs for anxiety, some antidepressants, some cold remedies and allergy products, sleeping pills, and pain relievers.”

Side effects to watch out for include drowsiness, blurred vision, delayed reaction times, fainting, or disorientation. Some more serious side effects can dramatically affect coordination or create distorted thought patterns that make driving nearly impossible.

Older adults are particularly at risk for these types of side effects because they may be prescribed multiple medicines, some of which may have unanticipated side interactions with each other. AAA reports that nearly 50% of older adults say they take seven or more medications yet still drive regularly. They go on to caution that medicines with impairing side effects or drug interactions can raise a driver’s risk of an accident by 300%.

Ask Your Doctor About Side Effects to Avoid Unsafe Driving

To avoid raising your risk of an accident, avoid taking medications that say “Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery” as a warning label. “Heavy Machinery” includes cars.

Also, ask your physician about whether the medication can result in the inability to drive safely.  It is also always a good idea to make sure that all of your doctors and your pharmacist knows all of the drugs you are taking because of the risk of  unsafe drug interactions if you take multiple prescriptions.

Note that some medications affect different people in different ways, and these effects can also fluctuate based on whether you have eaten, whether you have gained or lost weight recently, and several other variables. You can also develop habits that allow you to take your prescriptions as recommended while following a schedule that makes unsafe driving less likely.

Have You Been in an Accident with a Driver on Rx Drugs?

Not every driver knows that they should not drive on prescription medications, but ignorance is no excuse or defense when you break the law.

If you have been injured by a driver who has tested positive for impairing prescriptions or who may have been using them at the time of the accident, you can work with a car accident attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina to build your case. The impaired driver may be liable for your damages, including medical bills, lost income, vehicle repairs, and pain and suffering.

You can speak with a North Carolina car accident attorney during a free case evaluation when you schedule your free case evaluation today by calling 704-364-3361 or our convenient online contact form.

The list of prior client settlement results and client reviews/testimonials, do not constitute a promise of any particular result in any particular case, as each and every case is unique. Each case was handled on its own merit, and the outcome of any case cannot be predicted by a lawyer or law firms past results.

If a recovery or settlement by trial is made, the client will be responsible for costs advanced in addition to attorney fees. Client remains responsible for costs, expenses and disbursements, including medical bills, within the scope of representation. The attorney’s contingency percentage will be computed prior to the deduction of expenses from the total recovery.

The principal office for Auger & Auger Law Firm is located at 717 S. Torrence St., Suite 101, Charlotte, NC. The attorneys and staff of Auger & Auger Law Firm work and process all of the firm’s files at the principal office location in Charlotte, NC. Other office locations listed on our website are satellite offices that are not staffed daily. Satellite offices are operated for the convenience of our clients and who live outside of the Charlotte, NC metro area and are unable to meet with us at our principal office location. All meetings at our satellite offices must be made by appointment only. Phone numbers for satellite offices forward to our principle office location in Charlotte, NC.