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Property owners file more insurance claims for Halloween

Spooky season is the favorite time of year for many in Massachusetts. It is a time to dress up and invoke the power of make-believe. While the holiday is geared mostly toward children, adults love it too. Unfortunately, there is one thing about Halloween that many property owners hate.

According to MarketWatch, Halloween brings out the vandals, leading to the highest number of claims each year. This includes not just for homes but also cars. Subsequently, the first of November is a busy day for insurance companies. Broken windows, slashed tires, ruined lawns, awful pranks and other acts of random mayhem are most likely to occur on Halloween.

Is sharing prescription drugs illegal?

If you are like many Massachusetts residents, you may have some leftover prescription pain relievers in your medicine cabinet from a previous injury or illness. When a friend gets an injury, you may decide to share your leftover medication to help manage the pain. Even though it may seem that you are simply helping out until your friend gets a prescription from his or her doctor, the consequences for such an action may be severe. Even if you do not ask for payment, giving drugs to someone without a prescription for them may count as distributing a controlled substance.

According to FindLaw, giving away or sharing prescription drugs may have similar legal consequences as selling illicit drugs. The key to obtaining a drug legally is the prescription, and a prescription does not generally cover anyone except for the patient. Additionally, most prescriptions only cover a certain time period relating to medical treatment for a specific condition. That means if you have leftover pain relievers from a prior injury, it may be illegal for you to take them for a new injury.

What are the steps to reinstate your driver's license?

There are several ways you may lose your Massachusetts driver's license, including getting a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Once your suspension has expired, there are a few tasks you may need to complete in order to reinstate your license. The specifics of your case may determine the exact requirements you need to meet to get your license back.

You may find detailed instructions for reinstating your license on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website. Getting your license back usually involves paying a fee. The cost of the reinstatement fee varies depending on the circumstances that caused your license suspension. State law indicates that fees may cost up to $1200. Along with paying the fee, you may also have to pass one or more exams, such as a leaner's permit exam and/or a road test. If your license suspension was longer than two years, you must take both the exam and the road test. There are also strict requirements to reinstate a CDL: The state requires you to pass the CDL road test and CDL permit exam.

Advocate groups pushing for ignition interlocks with first OUI

You can face stiff penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol in Massachusetts. Even if it is your first conviction for operating under the influence (OUI), the court can charge you heavy fines and even take away your license for a year. But in Massachusetts, the court cannot require you to install an ignition interlock for your first OUI offense.

Massachusetts is the only state in the U.S. that does not require ignition interlocks for first-time OUI convictions. Advocate group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) hopes to convince lawmakers to pass a bill that changes that.

Going back to work with an arrest or prison record

There’s a lot of talk about the improving job market in Massachusetts and the rest of the United States. However, there are some people in America who desperately want to work but struggle to get hired. These are people with arrest records or who have served time in jail or prison. Some of these people served time for minor infractions, while others committed serious crimes twenty years ago and have steered clear of trouble since.

Forbes believes that states need to show a greater commitment toward giving ex-cons a fresh start. It notes that all across America, criminal records affect 30,000 licensing restrictions. Note that roughly 30% of American jobs require a license to work. Put simply, there are many high-skilled and professional fields requiring licenses that ex-cons are not eligible for because of past records.

Domestic violence and its financial impact

Domestic violence is perhaps no less common in Massachusetts than other states. There are instances where one partner accuses the other of domestic assault. However, there are far more instances when these allegations are true. This may make it difficult, though not impossible to prove the accused partner’s innocence, particularly if that partner is a man. Why is this?

Over the past few years, the #MeToo movement spread from Hollywood to D.C. and took down a lot of executives, celebrities and politicians along the way. While not always, in most of these instances, the accused person was a man. In fact, CNN reports that every day, at least three women die at the hands of husbands and boyfriends. Add children, friends, innocent bystanders, a new partner or law enforcement officers to the numbers and the death toll of domestic abuse climbs even higher.

Know the signs of elderly abuse

When people become older in Massachusetts, they may need to rely on others to take care of them. Sometimes, their caretakers are family members, while other times there are strangers appointed as their legal guardians. Even when elders are not assaulted at home, they are often attacked while out in public. This spring, CNN reported that there was a 75.4% increase in nonfatal assaults of men over 60 years old between 2007 and 2016. For women in the same category, assault had also increased by 35.4%.

While being attacked on the streets is traumatizing, facing routine abuse at home may be even worse. According to WebMD, there are several different types of abuse that the elderly may face. Here some signs associated with each type that family members should look out for.

Can police really draw your blood at a traffic stop?

Driving or operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DWI/OUI) is something that the majority of drivers never have to deal with. For those that find themselves at a police checkpoint and under the scrutiny of a police officer, it is helpful to know what is legal and what they can legally do and what they cannot.


The dangerous link between prescription and heroin addictions

Many people think of Massachusetts, and New England in general, as an oversized suburb. Because of this, residents are often surprised to find that the opioid crisis has reached into the Bay State. Many people assume that these drug addicts are criminals with long rap sheets and poor morals, but these drugs often came from the least likely sources.

In fact, according to Business Insider, it is prescription drugs that brought heroin into the suburbs. Medical groups are considered responsible for pushing pain killers as a treatment option onto doctors who then passed that on to patients. Clinics that prescribed legal opioids then began to appear all across the nation around this time. The end result was that in the 1990s and 2000s, doctors prescribed opioids for almost all types of pain.

Underage DUIs can hurt your wallet

Most teenagers in Massachusetts do not have their own car insurance. Instead, they get the lowest possible rates from bundling with their parents. In these instances, mom and dad are usually the ones who pay the bill as well. Because of this, when teenagers get DUIs, it is parents who first get stuck with the higher payments, but it may continue to affect that person’s ability to get car insurance for years to come.

According to Forbes, teenagers today are more aware of the dangers of drunk driving. Unfortunately, this does not always translate into safe behavior. Teenagers often feel pressured to experiment with alcohol and then may drive home to meet curfew. Sometimes the risk of driving drunk, in their minds, is less than the risk of telling their parents they were out drinking.

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