No matter where you cruise, it’s important to stay alert and aware of the driving laws. Laws vary from state to state, however, which means some punishments will be harsher than others. Here is a breakdown of the states with the strictest driving laws.

Delaware

Generally considered to be the state with the strictest driving laws, Delaware certainly cracks down on any law-breaking drivers. They’re quite strict about enforcing speed limits, but reckless driving charges are where things get serious. If you’re a first-time offender, you’ll receive a fine between $100 to $300, or you may face between 10 to 30 days in jail—some may even face both. For those caught driving recklessly again, fines will increase between $300 to $1,000, with subsequent jail times between 30 and 60 days.

California

California has multiple strict driving laws, but they really crack down on DUIs. Fines up to $2,000, 48 hours in jail, or mandatory education programs are all possible consequences for any drivers found guilty of driving under the influence on their first offense. Although the blood alcohol limit is 0.08%, if the police can prove your driving was impaired by any alcohol consumption, you can still be charged if you’re under that limit.

Georgia

Speeding was quite an issue in Georgia, and that’s why the Super Speeder ticket came into existence in 2010. This ticket specifies that if you go over a certain speed limit on either a two-lane road or highway, you’ll pay any fines or fees, as well as a flat $200 fee on top of that. Make sure you pay that fee in a timely manner; if you wait more than 120 days, your license will be suspended.

Maine

Driving in Maine may be scenic, but don’t let those sights distract you. Maine cracks down on drivers found driving under the influence, driving recklessly, or drivers that fail to use their seatbelt properly. Maine also has the Zero Tolerance Law; if you’re under the age of 21 and found driving with any alcohol in your body, your license is revoked for a year.

Oregon

Oregon cracks down on reckless driving in a major way, and their driving laws reflect that. They tout the country’s highest maximum fine for first-time offenders, which clocks in at a maximum of $6,250. On top of the fine, those convicted also face the possibility of one year in jail and five years of probation.

In New York State alone, from 2011 to 2016, tickets given for texting while driving increased by 918%. Distracted driving, reckless driving, and driving under the influence have serious consequences; if you find yourself without a license as a result of these offenses, we’re here to help. With our SR22 online services, those in need of an SR22 can start down the road toward recovering their driving record.

You’ve most likely heard of an SR22, but there’s another insurance filing to keep in mind—an FR44. Currently, only two states, Virginia and Florida, use SR22 and FR44. If you reside in either of those states, take note of the essential differences between the SR22 and FR44 insurance policies.

What is an SR22?

An SR22, while often referred to as a form of insurance, is, in fact, a certificate that allows a driver to obtain coverage after a serious event. An individual may need SR22 for a variety of reasons, including a DUI conviction, engaging in reckless driving, or driving without a license. The state sees these drivers as a “high-risk,” and as such, need to take an extra step to obtain insurance.

What is an FR44?

If you’re a driver in either Virginia or Florida, you may need to obtain an FR44. Similar to the SR22, for the FR44 in Virginia, you’ll need to get one if you’re a high-risk driver due to any of the aforementioned reasons. It’s a bit different in Florida, in that a driver will only need this in the case of driving under the influence. The FR44 certification is for more serious cases, and the actual ruling will vary on a case-by-case basis. If you’re hoping to get back on the road after these issues, an FR44 is what you’ll need.

What are the differences?

While an SR22 and an FR44 may seem interchangeable, there are some major differences those affected need to be aware of. One of the greatest differences between the SR22 and FR44 insurance policies is the cost of minimum liability car insurance coverage. For the FR44, this will be much higher than usual, even when compared to an SR22. Below are the normal liability coverage requirements:

Virginia:

  • $40,000 for property damage liability
  • $50,000 for injury or death to one person
  • $100,000 for injury or death of more than one person

Florida:

  • $50,000 for property damage liability
  • $100,000 for injury or death to one person
  • $300,000 for injury or death to more than one person

If your case requires an FR44, it’s important to know that the costs will be higher. However, there’s no need to lose hope, as insurance companies that offer SR22 will be there to help you figure out your best options. The road toward your new life may not always be easy, but with the right help at your side, you’ll find that your future is bright.

Alcohol is a commonly abused substance, and its use is on the rise. In 2018, spending on alcoholic beverages in the U.S. increased by more than 5%, or approximately $12.4 billion. Correspondingly, alcohol-related deaths have increased by 35% during the past decade or so. No matter what substance is used or how an addiction manifests itself, few things are as painful as addiction. While many people think addiction is black-and-white and therefore easy to identify, it can be much more nuanced than that. Signs of addiction can be insidious and difficult to identify for both the sufferer and their loved ones. Here are some key signs to help you recognize you have an addiction so that you can take the next steps toward getting your life back.

Mental Signs

The signs of addiction may not be immediately visible or physically evident: addiction can wreak havoc on the sufferer’s mental health, as well. As such, there are several mental symptoms that could indicate an addiction:

Obsession with the substance

For those overcome by addiction, the substance to which they’re addicted can consume their thoughts and become an obsession. If you constantly worry about where you’ll get your next supply or plan out when you’ll consume it next, you may be facing an addiction.

Erratic thinking or reasoning

When your mind is wracked by addiction, your thinking and reasoning won’t be rational. Addicted individuals will jump through mental hoops to justify or rationalize their addiction in order to satisfy their cravings. They may also spend most of their money on the substance to which they’re addicted or even steal in order to obtain it. In short, if you’re suffering from an addiction, you won’t have the ability to think straight.

Turning to the substance in times of stress

Stress and anxiety are unpleasant for anyone, but for people with addictions, they can truly feel insurmountable. They may trigger a psychological urge in you to turn to the substance to which you’re addicted as a form of relief.

Physical Signs

While physical signs may not be clear at the onset of an addiction, they’ll likely become more prominent over time. Keep an eye out for any of these physical indicators if you believe you may be suffering from an addiction—even something small could be very telling.

Withdrawal

Withdrawal occurs when the body is deprived of the substance to which it’s addicted, causing unpleasant side effects. These symptoms will vary from person to person, but they commonly include intense cravings, seizures, erratic behavior, sweats, and much more. Side effects of withdrawal also wildly differ depending on the substance, so you should stay in tune with your body and remain wary of any possible signs of withdrawal.

Weight fluctuation

Extreme weight fluctuations can also be indicators of an addiction. For example, an addiction to cocaine will often leave the addict much thinner, possibly even malnourished. On the other hand, alcohol abuse may cause the individual to experience weight gain and bloating. Either extreme are a sign that you should reevaluate your substance use and really ruminate on the possibly of an addiction.

Higher tolerance for the substance

At first, it may not take much for an addict to get their fix. Small quantities of a substance may give them their desired state of being. However, as the addiction becomes more severe, they’ll need to consume more and more of the substance to reach the same level. This increased need is a result of the body’s increasing tolerance: a substance’s effects on the body will lessen the more it’s consumed. If you find yourself consuming a substance in increasing quantities and more frequently, you may be developing a higher tolerance, which can lead to addiction.

Behavioral Signs

Addiction intensely affects people not only mentally and physically, but also behaviorally. The following signs aren’t just signals of moodiness or laziness—they may also be symptoms of a serious addiction.

Social isolation

Participating in social activities can become increasingly difficult as one’s addiction intensifies, eventually resulting in social isolation. For many addicts, this isolation may also result from a lack of access to their preferred substance during social outings. Other people may be ashamed of their addiction, causing them to withdraw from their loved ones rather than allow their friends and family members to see them in that state. Whether it’s due to physical or emotional torment, if you find yourself removing yourself from social situations that once brought you joy, you may be facing an addiction.

Denial

Even if the signs are apparent to others, people suffering from an addiction may find it much more difficult to admit their habit. If a loved one brings up their concerns, you may find yourself brushing off these concerns and claim that your addiction isn’t truly an issue. If you’re so entrenched in your substance abuse that you don’t recognize—or don’t want to recognize—your addiction, it may be time to seek help.

Missing work or school

When struggling with an addiction, someone who is usually punctual and dedicated to their work may suddenly have issues with attendance or quit altogether. Addiction makes responsibilities such as a job or schoolwork incredibly difficult to keep up with, and sufferers will often find it impossible to carry on with their usual responsibilities. This could be for physical reasons such as intoxication, which can render them unable to function. This could also be because they can’t consume the substance at work. An inability to lead a normal life without the substance is a huge red flag that you’re facing an addiction.

 

Addiction affects every individual differently, but no matter how it manifests in you, getting yourself the help you need is important. Addiction is a disease, and you can’t overcome it alone. Confide in your loved ones, allow yourself to face the reality that you’re suffering from an addiction, and take the necessary steps to get treatment. In the moment, addiction may seem insurmountable. But you can overcome addiction and work to reclaim the life you deserve. For those who have successfully recovered from addiction and want to regain their independence, our SR22 insurance in Las Vegas, Denver, and several other areas can help you get your life back on track.

Mental, Physical, and Behavioral Signs of an Addiction infographic

Job hunting is tough—in early 2019, the U.S. unemployment rate was between 3.8 and 4 percent, meaning there are quite a few others in the same predicament. Once you add in a DUI on your record, it becomes exponentially more difficult. While you may feel like giving up, don’t lose hope. Here are some helpful tips on how to get a job with a DUI on record.

Try to clear it from your record

Your first step should be trying to clear the conviction from your record. Your end result will vary greatly depending on your personal situation and other factors, but it’s always worth a shot. Speak with your local DMV to see how you could go about trying to remove those charges. If this isn’t a possibility, however, there are still other ways to get a job with a DUI on record.

Have realistic expectations

At the end of the day, it’s simply going to be more difficult to find a job if you have a DUI on record. The most important thing is to not let it discourage you, so make sure you go in with realistic expectations. Your job search may be a long one, and you may not land every interview that interests you. But with hard work and determination, you’ll find a job that works for you.

Exude confidence

With a DUI on your record, it’s possible that your employer is already letting it color their judgment of you. Don’t let this discourage you—rather, use it as an opportunity for you to put your best foot forward. Prepare in advance for the interview by practicing your responses ahead of time, being comfortable talking about your DUI if it comes up, and showing up to the interview on time. This confidence shows your interviewer that you respect their time, and they’ll have a more positive opinion of you.

Obtain SR22 insurance

To effectively job search, and consequently travel to and from your new job, SR22 insurance is a must. After the state suspends your license for a DUI, SR22 insurance is the way to get back on your feet and safely back on the road. From SR22 insurance in Washington to SR22 insurance in New York, each state will vary slightly. As such, you should investigate your local laws and regulations. Driving will give you the mobility you need to make the job search that much more achievable.

No matter your situation, one necessary component of any job search is perseverance. The hunt itself is a full-time commitment, so the best course of action is to throw yourself into it. With the right attitude and preparation, it’s more attainable than you think.

Untreated alcohol addiction is truly an epidemic—according to Addiction Center, “about 15 million people have an alcohol use disorder, but only  about 7% of Americans who are addicted to alcohol ever receive treatment.” No matter the statistics, you don’t have to tackle it alone. There are numerous resources and tools out there for those seeking help for alcohol addiction. While it can be a scary notion, it’s important to take the first steps toward a life free from an alcohol use disorder.

Identifying Alcohol Addiction

The first step toward seeking help for alcohol addiction is identifying your condition. There are many different stages of alcoholism, and no two people will have the same situations or symptoms. Below we outline the general progression of an alcohol use disorder.

Pre-Alcoholic

As denoted by the name, at this stage, there are little to no signs of a drinking problem. Individuals will mostly confine drinking to social situations. However, the issue can develop if the underlying reasons for drinking aren’t healthy. Typically, the person begins to build up tolerance during this stage. As such, they drink with more frequency to alleviate stress, anxiety, or painful memories.

Early Stage

At this point, drinking will become both a need and a source of discomfort for the person. Blacking out will occur at this stage, and they may lie to family and friends about the extent of their drinking. Tolerance will continue to grow, and alcohol will consume a person’s day-to-day thoughts.

Middle Stage

Once someone reaches the middle stage of alcoholism, symptoms will become clear to others. They will begin to miss obligations due to the side effects of drinking. These individuals may even drink during situations such as work or other social obligations. Those afflicted often experience irritability, weight gain, and sluggishness, among other side effects.  

Late Stage

For those that are in the late stage of alcoholism, the drinking has become truly life-threatening. Drinking will become a constant activity, occurring from the moment the person first wakes up. Job loss will likely occur before or during this stage. Attempting to stop drinking will often result in tremors or hallucinations; however, detox and rehabilitation can help immensely.

Getting Diagnosed

A doctor will be able to diagnose an individual with an alcohol use disorder. This is someone who cannot control their drinking and is distraught physically and emotionally when they are sober. Once you’re in and talking with a doctor, they can be a huge advocate for ways in which to overcome your alcohol addiction.

Treatment Programs

There is no one way to treat alcoholism—rather, there are several methods to choose from based on the specific person’s needs and condition. Some people utilize a number of these, while others have one treatment program that works for them. The following are common programs you’ll find when seeking treatment.

Detox

While detox alone isn’t a treatment program, it’s the first step for most people who are suffering from alcoholism. The detox period is when someone suddenly stops drinking and consequently faces serious symptoms. These include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Shaky hands
  • Hallucinations
  • Changes in blood pressure and heart rate

The detox period will vary from person to person, possibly lasting over a week. Professionals advise that you go through a program with medical supervision. With the support of specialists, family, and friends, you’ll have the physical and emotional aid you need to get through this trying time.

Rehab

While detox addresses the physical addiction of alcohol, rehab focuses on psychological dependence. Rehab stays typically last a month. Those who attend will receive one-on-one therapy, relapse prevention tools, a renewed support network, and other therapeutic activities. Rehab is all about total wellness, and it can help give you the tools to fight the battle that is an addiction.

Regularly see a therapist

Once you do leave a treatment center, it’s important to keep your wellness in check. It’s a good idea to see a counselor or therapist who specializes in helping those with alcohol addiction. They can help you navigate your daily struggles, and they’ll give you the tools to deal with possible triggers such as stress or anxiety.

Confide in Loved Ones

Shame is one of the biggest things stopping those suffering from alcoholism from getting help. Rather than turning away from the world, turn to your loved ones for the support, accountability, and guidance you need. The most dangerous thing for someone with an addiction is isolation. This can lead to a vicious cycle of turning to alcohol for comfort as opposed to those around them. It’s essential to create a network of support around you, so you have people to turn to when you’re facing dangerous thoughts or behaviors.

Triggers to Avoid

After you’ve received treatment and overcome your alcohol addiction, you’re still likely to experience triggers and temptations. That’s why it’s important to learn how to avoid these triggers and (if they’re unavoidable) how to effectively deal with them. Common triggers include:

  • High-stress situations, whether at work or home
  • Being around others who are drinking
  • Places or activities where you used to drink alcohol

Addiction is entirely personal, and even the most seemingly innocuous of activities or situations can be triggering for those with alcohol addiction. When you simply can’t avoid these situations, utilize the tools a therapist or counselor provides you.

Join Support Groups

Nothing can hold you accountable quite like a community. Alcohol addiction support groups are a great way to connect with people who understand exactly what you’re going through. If you’re afraid of judgment or shame, these groups are especially helpful, as they generally keep their membership completely anonymous. This continued form of both accountability and support is a tried and true way to sustain your recovery for years to come.

 

Above all else, if you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, know that you’re not alone. There’s an entire world of resources, people, and loved ones looking to support you in your journey toward recovery. If you’re looking to get your life back on track and regain your independence, Serenity Group can help. We offer SR22 insurance in Denver, Chicago, and other locations across the United States. It may be a difficult journey, but in the end, the road to recovery is more than worth it.

Seeking Help for Alcohol Addiction You’re Not Alone infographic

It’s no secret that obtaining insurance can be difficult after receiving a DUI or reckless driving charge. According to Insure.com, on average, “drivers will pay 76 percent more [in insurance] after a drunken driving conviction.” That amount of money can seem insurmountable. However, there are other, more affordable options.

A non-owner SR22 insurance policy is a great option for those without a household vehicle. If this situation applies to you, here’s why you should have non-owner SR22 insurance.

What is a non-owner SR22?

The fundamental difference between regular SR22 insurance and non-owner SR22 insurance is that the latter is for those who don’t own a vehicle. If you sold your vehicle after you got your license revoked, or if no one in your household has a vehicle you could drive regularly, it makes much more sense to get non-owner’s insurance. That way, you can still work toward regaining your license, and you’ll still be able to drive a vehicle if the opportunity arises.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for this specific type of insurance, there are certain conditions you must meet. Potential applicants must not own a vehicle, have access to a vehicle in their household, and have an ignition interlock device requirement. If you meet all the criteria, non-owner SR22 insurance could be the right fit for your driving needs.

Perks of a non-owner SR22 insurance policy

There are several advantages to obtaining non-owner SR22 insurance. When compared with a regular car insurance policy, non-owner insurance is much more affordable. Avoid the huge purchase of investing in a car, as this will only lead to having to pay more expensive insurance. Non-owner’s insurance will allow you to save money while working toward obtaining your license. In addition, you’ll get some much-needed coverage for when you do need to drive. When it comes to getting behind the wheel, you can never be too safe.

For those without regular access to a car, non-owner insurance is a great option. As with anything else, it’s all about preparation and research when it comes to if you should have non-owner SR22 insurance. From an SR22 in Indiana to California, once you find the right policy for you, you can embark on your journey to renewed independence.

Effective Ways to Keep Your Auto Insurance Rates Low

If you’re young and just starting to drive, the reality of responsible car ownership probably hasn’t set in yet. Car insurance isn’t fixed; rather, your car insurance responds to your level of competency as a driver. Over a period of time, skilled drivers can see their insurance costs lower significantly. Learn about the factors that can keep your auto insurance rates low and your wallet happy!

Take Advantage of Multi-Car Discounts

Any household with multiple vehicles is eligible for such a discount. Sometimes, you must register all vehicles under the same name, but this is not always the case. There are some exceptions to the multi-car insurance discounts—for example, you might not be able to bundle motorcycle insurance with car insurance.

The reason multi-car insurance is almost always cheaper is that it spreads out the risk for insurance companies. Insurers provide this discount to secure more business under one policy and to steer you away from competitors. It offers some nice personal benefits as well—having all your vehicles insured under the same policy means that you’ll have one payment and renewal date for your policy.

Each additional vehicle added on the policy adds to the discount; most insurance plans will cover up to five cars under one policy. Further, if a person on your policy were to file a claim, it will not affect your no-claims bonus.

Shop Around for Better Premiums

The truth about insurance is that there is no universal policy that is cheap for everyone—it really all depends on who you are and what your driving record is. Get as many price quotes as you can handle and make your decisions from there. Insurance companies often sell their insurance differently—some sell via their own agents, others sell through independent agents that offer policies from several companies.

Though Allstate, Geico, Progressive, and State Farm dominate most of the insurance market, don’t neglect local and regional insurance companies. People tend to be more satisfied with the service from smaller companies, and you might find it’s easier to negotiate on insurance with a mom and pop shop.

Ask About Discounts

There are quite a few discounts you may be eligible for. Here’s the rundown on just a few discount categories and the amount that might apply to you:

Type of Insurance

Eligibility

Average Discount

Bundled

Discount rates apply for unrelated policies with the same insurer as part of customer loyalty.

5-10%

Early Renewal

For renewing before the policy expires.

10%

Multi-Car

Insure more than one car on the same policy.

10-25%

Good Student

Students under 25 with at least a 3.0 GPA.

15-25%

Senior

Applies to drivers over 65.

15-35%

Low-income

Mandated insurance for income-eligible drivers.

N/A

Home-owner

Owns a home or condominium.

5-15%

Military

Active military members and their families.

15% for on base, 90% for deployed

Accident-free

Drivers with a history of no accidents that cost the insurer money.

5%

Low Mileage

Drives 5k-15k miles/year.

2%

Defensive Driver Course

Limited to approved courses only.

10%

Good driver

NO at-fault accidents or moving violations for 3-5 years prior to purchasing insurance.

15-25%

Anti-theft

Alarms, tracking systems and kill switches installed in your car.

5-20%

Hybrid/Electric

Own or lease a hybrid car.

10%

New Car

Car must be 3 years old or younger.

10%

Safety/restraint

Applies to older vehicles with factory-installed airbags.

5%

Paid-in-full

Pays full premium at the beginning of the contract.

5-10%

 

Drive Cautiously

Car accidents and moving violations increase your car insurance premiums tremendously. A 2017 study from Quadrant Information Services revealed that the average increase for a $2,000 insurance claim is about 44%. Your driving record is one of the biggest factors affecting the rate of insurance claims, though you won’t always get penalized for not-at-fault accidents and minor fender-benders. Your insurance will probably go up if the following statements are true for you:

  • You’re at fault for the accident.
  • There are thousands of dollars in damage.
  • You’ve filed multiple claims with the same insurer.
  • You’ve filed multiple claims with other insurers within a couple of years.
  • Your state enforces no-fault auto insurance, in which your insurer pays for damages regardless of who is at fault.

Some states follow a point system in which moving violations accrue points on your license. Each incident assigns a different number of points on your record which insurance companies can access in order to alter your insurance policy accordingly. Every state has its own regulations for allocating points to your license, so check out your state’s rules before you drive. Minor traffic infractions, however, are generally not something to worry about when it comes to insurance premiums.

Across the United States, over 1 million people are arrested each year for driving under the influence. It may seem obvious to not drink and drive, but alcohol disrupts people’s decision-making ability and sometimes, they do the unthinkable. If an officer arrests you for drinking and driving, you’ll need to seek out insurance companies that offer SR22, a type of auto insurance specifically for drivers who have severe traffic violations.

Consider Credit-Based Insurance Scores

Some insurance companies use a person’s credit score rating to determine whether they’ll extend them a policy, and if so, how much they will charge them. Insurers use elements of your credit information in order to predict how likely it is that you will file a claim and they’ll experience an insurance loss. We know from FICO spokesman Jeff Scott that “Insurers use insurance scores along with other risk information, such as motor vehicle records (for auto insurance), loss history reports, property inspections (for property insurance), and application information to evaluate new and renewal auto and homeowner insurance policies.”

The good news is that typically, insurance companies cannot base your policy rates solely on your credit score information. In fact, some states outright prohibit it. However, if your state still allows credit-based insurance scores, you’ll want to take steps to improve your credit score. If you’ve improved your credit score significantly over time but haven’t seen that reflected in your insurance premiums, contact your insurers. It’s possible that they haven’t updated your credit score report analysis.

Effective Ways to Keep Your Auto Insurance Rates Low infographic

How Does SR22 Insurance Work in Colorado A Handy Guide

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the highest percentage of drunk drivers in 2017 were 21- to 24-year-olds at 27 percent and 25- to 34-year-olds at 26 percent. Figuring out your insurance is hard enough at a young age, but when you factor in needing to obtain SR22 insurance, it becomes nearly impossible. If you’re wondering how SR22 insurance works in Colorado, we’ve got the information to help you navigate this process.

Why would you need an SR22

SR22 insurance is for those who commit serious violations while behind the wheel. By definition, those who need it are high-risk drivers. There are several reasons you would need SR22 insurance, including:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Uninsured drivers found at fault in a car accident
  • Reckless driving
  • Drivers caught with a suspended or revoked license

While it might feel restrictive, SR22 forms allow those who have had these issues to still be able to obtain insurance and drive.

How does SR22 insurance work in Colorado

Technically, the SR22 is a form, and the amount of time you need to have it on file will vary. In Colorado, the average requirement is three years. However, these requirements may vary depending on the offense—they can fall anywhere between three months to three years. For those who are first-time drunk driving offenders, according to Colorado Statute 42-2-132.5(4)(b)(II), a judge will have the option to shorten the filing time frame to as little as four months. It will vary on a case-by-case basis, so be cognizant of your own particular situation.

Finding SR22 insurance

The filing process can be confusing but don’t fret—with Serenity Group’s help, filing will be much simpler. With over 25 years of experience, we’re able to help you reinstate your license at the best price possible. Best of all, we provide auto insurance, motorcycle insurance, boat insurance, and many other options in order to best suit your particular needs.

If you need to fill your SR22 in Colorado, there’s no reason to stress. While it can seem daunting, with the right help, you’ll be on your way to securing insurance in no time.

How a Reckless Driving Charge May Impact You

Sometimes, we don’t always think about the danger we put others in with our carelessness. If you’re faced with a reckless driving charge, you may be shocked and fearful of what this means for your future. Know what your state laws are regarding reckless driving and prevent any future setbacks. Below, we explain what reckless driving is and how a charge may impact you.

What is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving means operating your vehicle in a way that is likely to cause harm to the safety or property of others. The term encompasses many harmful driving tactics such as swerving; driving over 25 miles above the speed limit; illegal passing; weaving through traffic; ignoring traffic signs; racing. Eliminate activities like cell phone usage while operating your car as well, as this decreases your focus on driving by as much as 37%.

Unlike other traffic violations, the circumstances surrounding a reckless driving charge are much more pertinent to the charge. Each individual case is investigated, and people are either found guilty or innocent based on various factors including the time of day, weather conditions, the presence of drivers or people on the road, or if the driving was intentionally reckless. To uphold a reckless driving charge, the court must prove you acted beyond negligence and willfully drove in a way that disregarded the safety of others. This does not mean, however, that the prosecution must prove your mental state was compromised. Instead, they just need to show that a sign or signal was present that should have alerted the driver to his/her carelessness.

Driving recklessly is not the same thing as driving carelessly. Both are considered moving violations but driving carelessly is less serious and less costly. Careless driving refers to someone driving without paying attention. The primary difference between the two charges is intent.

Penalties

As one of the more serious traffic offenses, it can cost you up to $2,500 in fines, jail time, and license revocation. Most people choose to hire a lawyer to get the charge reduced to a misdemeanor, as in some states reckless driving is considered a felony charge.

A reckless driving charge can also incur points on your license. Most moving violations result in points on your record, but not all states abide by the point system to keep track of driving offenses. The states that do use the point system have established limits—if you exceed the maximum number of points, you will get your license revoked. Some points stay on your record for a decade, but there is also the option to have them removed after driving school or getting the charges reduced in court. Luckily, online SR22 insurance offers you a way to continue driving after a serious moving violation should the court not grant you an appeal.

Overcoming Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol is a vital social component of American life, but some people unfortunately become addicted to the intoxicating drug. No one is impervious to alcohol’s effects, and the younger you begin drinking, the more likely you are to develop a destructive habit. In fact, according to AAA, “people who begin drinking before they’re 15 years old are five times more likely to be alcoholics later in life.”

Alcoholism destroys lives, but you can always seek change. Learn how to identify a drinking problem, how it affects your body, and how you can overcome it.

How to Identify a Drinking Problem

Identifying an alcohol use disorder is tricky, mainly because it doesn’t have a strict definition. In the words of Anne Fernandez, a clinical psychologist at the University of Michigan Treatment Services, “There’s no quantity or frequency of alcohol included in the definition. Essentially, it’s really about certain features of alcohol use becoming a problem in your life—you’re starting to lose control or not being able to cope without a drink.”

As Fernandez mentions, there will be outward signs that you’re developing a dependency on alcohol, including the neglect of relationships to people in your life and to your responsibilities. If your alcohol use is affecting your productivity, your ability to hold a job, and other obligations, that is a cause for concern. Here are some other red flags from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that point to alcohol abuse:

  • You have attempted to reduce your alcohol intake multiple times but have failed.
  • You think obsessively about consuming alcohol.
  • You have suffered sickness due to alcohol use.
  • Alcohol has interfered with your work and/or personal life.
  • You have stopped participating in activities you used to enjoy so that you can drink elsewhere.
  • You drink to the point of memory loss and often find yourself in dangerous situations after drinking.
  • You have suffered withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, shakiness, restlessness, or a racing heart after the initial effects of the alcohol have worn off.

Depending on how many of these criteria you have exhibited, the severity of your disorder may vary from mild to moderate to severe and life-threatening. Some alcohol abusers also drive while drunk, which can lead to severe social, legal, and monetary problems down the line, including thousands of dollars in fines and possible prison sentences.

Stages of Alcohol Intoxication

Intoxication occurs at different stages for different people. The most accurate measurement of the level of a person’s intoxication is blood alcohol content (BAC), which is calculated by the weight of the alcohol in a certain volume of blood. BAC can be measured by testing the blood, urine, saliva, or breath, and it increases according to how quickly alcohol is consumed. Many factors, including height, muscle mass, metabolism, and gender, can affect a BAC reading. For example, a larger person will have more water in their system to dilute the alcohol, meaning their BAC level will be lower than that of a smaller person who consumes the same amount of drinks.

In all 50 states, impairment is legally defined by a BAC limit of .08%. For reference, a BAC of .10% means that your blood contains one part alcohol for every 1,000 parts of blood. The following are the documented stages of intoxication, which may help you gauge how impaired you are and whether you should continue drinking:

  • .02-.03: Behavior is mostly normal with slight mood changes.
  • .05-.06: At this stage, feelings of euphoria occur, as well as talkativeness, decreased inhibitions, and impulsivity. Some negative effects such as impaired logic and irrational decision-making may also arise.
  • .08-.09: You may experience poor judgment, slurred speech, slow reaction time, a lack of control, and a slight decrease in fine motor skills
  • .10-.17: During the fourth stage of intoxication, you may experience slurred speech, blurred vision, erratic emotions, aggression, and a clear lack of coordination.
  • .20-.29: In the fifth stage, you’ll behave almost as if in a stupor: you’ll experience severe confusion, an inability to control your emotions, and sometimes vomiting.
  • .30 and above: The possibility for physical harm during this stage increases tremendously. You may pass out or even face cardiac arrest or death.

Physical and Mental Effects of Addiction

Alcoholism is often comorbid with other psychological disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, and anxiety and personality disorders. Clinicians often have difficulty analyzing how psychological disorders and long-term alcohol abuse relate: according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Heavy drinking associated with alcoholism can coexist with, contribute to, or result from several different psychiatric syndromes.”

Heavy alcohol use affects brain function by altering the same neurotransmitters that form psychological disorders. Prolonged alcohol abuse can cause unalterable damage to the brain, resulting in long-term loss of cognition, diminished gray matter in the brain, memory loss, and even a dangerous, chronic illness called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which is caused by a lack of vitamin B1 (a common effect of prolonged alcohol use). Long-term use of alcohol also diminishes the overall mass in the brain’s neurons, leading to brain damage and resulting in learning difficulties, unstable moods, and an inability to control muscle movements.

The effects of alcohol on the body are just as destructive. The liver breaks down harmful substances that travel through the body, cleanses blood, and processes 90% of consumed alcohol. When you consume too much alcohol, your liver can scar, which can lead to three common alcohol-related liver disorders: fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and alcoholic cirrhosis.

  • Fatty liver: The buildup of fat in your liver inhibits your liver’s ability to purify toxins. Though the condition can be reversed with a reduction in alcohol use, it leads to death in many people because it has no symptoms and is only diagnosable via biopsy.
  • Alcoholic hepatitis: This is caused by inflammation of the liver from drinking. Symptoms include jaundice of the skin and eyes, nausea and vomiting, abdominal tenderness, and fatigue. In severe cases of alcoholic hepatitis, the mortality rate can reach 50%.
  • Alcoholic cirrhosis: Cirrhosis is the deadliest of these disorders. It replaces healthy liver tissue with scar tissue, disrupting blood flow and damaging liver function. Late-stage cirrhosis can only be treated with a liver transplant.

Overcoming Alcohol Addiction

For many individuals, overcoming alcohol addiction means specialized treatment in a rehab facility. Addiction facilities provide counseling and a supportive environment where you can address traumas that may have contributed to your alcohol use. You can begin making amends for past mistakes and repairing relationships with family members and with yourself. For people who have been drinking for years, a medically supervised detox may be necessary. Many rehab facilities also offer aftercare options such as group therapy and the popular 12-step program to help individuals maintain their sobriety.

Psychological disorders complicate treatment, but it’s not impossible to seek treatment for both conditions. Detoxing your body from alcohol will allow you to seek medication for your psychological issues, which may not have been possible before, considering alcohol often conflicts with prescription drugs.

For people who have found themselves subject to a DUI charge, don’t hesitate to call Serenity Group for SR22 insurance in Las Vegas. Addressing your wrongdoings and seeking treatment will enable you to get your driver’s license squared away and to begin a path toward responsibility.

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