Understanding Blood Alcohol Content and How it is Measured

A person’s Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC, is the percentage of alcohol present in your body. The higher your BAC, the more alcohol you have in your system. The legal limit in the United States is .08% alcohol. Your BAC is dependent on a variety of factors, including your sex, your weight, the speed of your metabolism, your medications, health conditions you may have, how much food you have consumed throughout the day, and of course, how many alcoholic drinks you have had.

So how exactly is your BAC measured? Law enforcement officers use a variety of different measures and tests to determine if you are over the legal limit and thus not legally allowed to drive. If you are ever pulled over by a law enforcement officer under the suspicion that you are driving while intoxicated, the officer will probably first subject you to a series of questions about your previous activity. Where are you coming from? Have you been drinking? How many drinks have you had tonight? If after this series of questions, the officer still suspects that you may be over the legal limit, he or she will probably subject you to a combination of field sobriety tests. Examples of these tests include a walk and turn, a one legged stand, and a horizontal gaze test. If you fail one or more of these tests, the officer has cause to believe that you are too intoxicated to drive and may take you into custody and ask you to submit to other testing.

The most common test to determine your BAC is the breathanalyzer. This machine uses infrared light to determine how much alcohol is present in your body as you breathe into the machine. Since the machine cannot determine factors such as your metabolism rate and food consumption, the machine relies on a conversion factor to determine your BAC. Therefore, the number it provides is not 100% accurate, but instead a close estimate.

A much more accurate BAC test is the BAC blood test. With this test, a sample of blood is taken and the amount of alcohol present in the body is directly measured. These tests are very accurate because they need no conversion factor to estimate your BAC. However, even with their high level of accuracy, problems can occur either when the test is administered or as the sample is transported and handled.

If you are ever charged with a DUI, you should be familiar with BAC tests and how they work. For more information about BAC tests and their potential inaccuracies, visit the website of Rhode Island DUI lawyer James Powderly.  

When Legal Guardianships Make Sense Plus a Few Alternatives to Consider

A legal guardianship is a court-created relationship where a person takes legal responsibility for the needs of a minor child or incapacitated individuals. These people take over the responsibility for making decisions about healthcare, food, housing, and even social interactions. When a guardianship is in place, they have ultimate authority over decision making in the incapacitated person’s life. While there is court oversight of the process, there is a significant loss in freedom that goes along with it.

There is an obvious need for a minor child to have guidance and supervision who obviously cannot raise themselves. If they are married, most people will designate their spouse to look after their children in the event of their death. However, it is wise to name additional persons, for instance, a parent, brother, sister, uncle or other close family member or friend that you would trust to act should your spouse die before you, or any of those named becomes unsuitable to act as guardian.

These wishes can be established in a will and helps in many ways including:

• Providing details about the parent’s wishes regarding disposition of the estate and assets

• Name an Executor of the will

• Avoid potential custody battles by establishing legal responsibilities for the guardian

• Protect the interests of minor children until they reach the age of majority and can make decisions on their own.

However, if a legal guardianship is not put in place the consequences are more severe when then an incapacitated adult has control over his or her own decisions. This could mean disastrous consequences financially and in terms of healthcare. However, putting such legal measures in place does mean the loss of certain fundamental rights. The right to make decisions contrary to the guardian, for example, is lost immediately. While not every personal right is lost in the process, the fact is many of them are.

There are other less invasive alternatives which can be exercised to protect an incapacitated loved one while still allowing them some freedoms. A conservatorship is similar to a guardianship except a conservator has power to exercise control over the incapacitated person’s estate only. An estate is comprised of all the possessions belonging to the person. A conservator will typically be in charge of managing financial decisions for the estate.

Another option is establishing power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document that grants certain power and authority to the person who holds it to act on behalf of another person. A power of attorney can be revoked at will, at any time. On the other hand, unlike with court-appointed guardianships and conservatorships, there is no oversight involved with a power of attorney, making them potentially a greater risk for abuse and misuse.

Implementing Legal Measures on the Legal BSC

The balanced scorecard is one managerial tool that can be implemented in any industry. This is because the nature of the tool is quite extensive, to the point that it can even be used in aviation, medicine, and law. There is indeed a legal BSC or legal scorecard that contains legal measures or key performance indicators as well. You can even say that the legal BSC’s following is getting bigger and stronger with each passing day. In fact, it is the preferred tool to use when it comes to the measurement of performance and the rate of success in the industry. Not only that, the legal BSC is also used in the promotion of legal practices. The tool is indeed becoming more and more popular in terms of acceptance and application.

If there is something that law firms have in common with companies and firms of other industries, it is the fact that its primary agenda is still profit. This goes true for law firms that take on pro bono cases because not all of their cases would be administered for free, you know. Law firms do need to earn profit to continue its operations. After all, if all cases a law firm takes on would be done pro bono, there would not be funds for the salaries of the lawyers belonging to the firm.

This is where the importance of the legal BSC sets in. Being the managerial tool that measures profit and performance, the BSC is then used in the law firm’s status quo, giving the firm as many opportunities as needed for it to earn profit. Most of the time, law firms here would pay attention on the performance areas that directly impact or affect the achievement of corporate goals and objectives. And when you are using the legal BSC in the context of law firms, then you should pay attention to this particular major area – learning and growth. This perspective is also related to another performance area – customer service – so it really pays to focus on these two areas.

The learning and growth performance area requires attention on the creation of a team of lawyers that can aptly handle just about any kind of case that is brought about by the firm’s multitude of clients. In doing so, it is important for this team of lawyers to handle the cases efficiently because this, in turn, would encourage the existing clients to stick with the law firm for future cases, and even refer their friends and colleagues to the law firm for services needed.

Another essential is the firm’s staff development program. For its bases, assessment results should be used and the program should be created in such a way that all lawyers would be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to take on any type of case. A law firm does not really handle every type of legal case that comes along. Law firms handling civil cases just might turn down a criminal case brought forth by a prospective client. But this does not mean that civil lawyers should not equip themselves with sufficient knowledge and skills about criminal cases commonly brought forth to them.

Lastly, customer service is a must for any law firm. Law firms inevitably want a clean public image for themselves and to do this, they should be ready to provide excellent service so as to have a growing number of clients. All of these legal measures should then be incorporated on your legal BSC.