Changing the ‘Box’ Bias

30November
2014

Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to keep your criminal record clean is to maintain your ability to seek gainful employment. One checked box on your employment application hinting toward your checkered background can ultimately bar you from the corporate world altogether.

How prevalent is this issue? It’s more widespread than most of us might even realize; 65 to 70 million US adults, with nearly 4 of every 10 individuals bogged down by their arrest records. Millions of these individuals struggle to recondition themselves because employers ultimately make a different hire, provided they even make it in to be interviewed.

“Ban the Box” is the official slogan being utilized by a special interest group attempting to counter background checking practices. The movement is actually gaining some traction — it’s spread to several cities and states around the US, banning the ‘box’ from government job applications and even mandating some private employers follow the same practice under certain jurisdictions.

It might seem unjust that private employers should be forced into a position of considering candidates with an arrest history, yet we must remember that the employment process should remain non-discriminating under most circumstances. It’s impossible to deny the stigma associated with an arrest record, regardless of the person’s actual character.

An arrest record is an easy way to raise red flags and have an employer gloss over you altogether. Would checking a box to designate your sexual orientation or your religion influence hiring managers? You could certainly argue these details of a person’s life have about as much relevancy to one’s ability to perform work as a DUI that occurred several years ago.

Perhaps it’s time we call a spade a spade — some arrest records are merely an invitation to pass unfair bias. Reformatting how hiring managers make these decisions can ultimately help worthy employees find work and help others recondition their lives. It seems the benefits outweigh the risks.

Posted in Arizona | Tagged , |

Can Ride Sharing Services Curb Holiday DUI?

16November
2014

Does the ride sharing phenomenon occurring throughout the nation ultimately hold the answer to curbing DUI statistics around the holiday? That answer might be clear when you consider a recent press release published by Uber.

Pennsylvania is the fourth-highest state for DUI related fatalities, an unsightly blemish by any measure. Alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths exceed the national average here by nearly 24%, and alcohol is responsible for nearly 38% of all motor vehicle fatalities.

Data from Uber’s Pennsylvania market shows that trip requests spike during the night, and particularly during the weekends. These are times when DUIs are considered the greatest threat. In areas where bars shut down at 2 AM, the data shows this is the most popular time to request a ride through Uber.

While the problem may not be as pronounced here in Arizona, driving under the influence is a major public safety concern across America. The problem becomes especially worse during the holiday – people attend holiday parties and travel back and forth to visit with family and friends.

For many people during the holidays, every destination presents the potential of consuming alcohol – something that spells major trouble for DUI-related crime during this season. How long will it be before we see ride sharing services curb statistics in Arizona?

Arizona is one of several states where ride sharing services are currently operational. After fighting many public battles on a state-by-state basis, primarily involving the old regime of traditional taxi services, Arizona is one place where you can actually utilize services like Uber.

There is little denying that giving more people incentive to use a taxi – offering highly-rated customer service and lower fees – can help prevent statistics from ballooning. Ride sharing services may not provide the ultimate solution to ending DUI altogether, but they certainly do come in handy around the holiday.

Original story provided by Uber.

Posted in DUI | Tagged , |

Do Marijuana DUI Laws Go Too Far?

2November
2014

Does a recent ruling that permits medical users of marijuana to be prosecuted for DUI effectively wipe out the benefits of legal usage? No matter what side of the fence you find yourself regarding marijuana DUI, there’s no denying the great amount of controversy the latest legislation has created.

The controversy should concern any medical user prescribed marijuana. These individuals could potentially be prosecuted for DUI as the drug remains in their system following usage. Any trip behind the wheel suddenly carries some of the heftiest penalties for driving under the influence within the country.

Testing for marijuana has been considered unreliable in assessing DUI penalties, drawing immense scrutiny from card carrying users. Some view the new legislation as simply whitewashing the newly legalized marijuana laws in Arizona. Giving medical users of marijuana reason to fear operating a motor vehicle – even when their motor skills are not impaired – could potentially prevent the drug from being used altogether in some cases.

Another concern is whether these laws actually make the road any safer for drivers. There is little data to support whether medical marijuana has created an uptick in fatal accidents in Arizona, considering how recently the laws came into effect. Critics argue penalizing these drivers only saddles them with a criminal record without preventing avoidable death along roadways.

Is there any sense in prosecuting such DUIs? There are legitimate concerns regarding marijuana in relation to driving. Some studies have shown that the drug can significantly impair a driver’s ability to react and subsequently increase the likelihood of an accident. Although there is little hard evidence in place to determine how long marijuana affects its users, it’s not hard to understand why it may be penalized similarly to alcohol.

The bottom line is that Arizona considers itself a ‘zero-tolerance’ state, for better or worse. If you ever find yourself arrested for DUI, never hesitate to contact an experienced attorney.

Posted in DUI | Tagged |