Marijuana Regulators Support Updates to Drugged Driving Laws

Massachusetts was one of the first states to legalize adult use of cannabis and as a result, our state has reaped millions of dollars in tax revenue from marijuana sales. When legalization was being adopted back in 2016, some legislators and highway safety proponents were concerned about an increase in drugged and impaired driving since the drunk driving laws were not equipped to deal with persons accused of driving under the influence of marijuana.

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Bridgewater Police Charge Driver After Fatal Crash – Seatbelt?

Fatal car accidents continue to plague Massachusetts roadways, causing untold trauma to a victim’s family as well as to the defendants and their families in many cases. In one such case last December, a Stoughton man was charged with vehicular homicide, operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and other charges in the death of a 64-year-old Bridgewater man.

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Massachusetts City Nets $250K From State for Body Cameras

As part of a 5-year comprehensive $20 million program from the Baker-Polito administration, the City of Worcester, Massachusetts recently received a $250,000 grant to equip their officers with body cameras. Other cities across the commonwealth that have received similar funding include Ashburnham, Brookfield, East Brookfield, Grafton, Lancaster, Ware, Rutland, Warren, and 56 other jurisdictions. 

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2021 Car Crashes in Massachusetts

In 2021, Massachusetts there were 390 victims in fatal car accidents, the most since 2009. The next highest was in 2012 when 364 people died. Many attribute the dramatic rise in fatal accidents to the effects of the pandemic. Like the prior year, for most of the year, traffic congestion was way down as many people either lost their jobs, were laid off, or chose to work remotely. Consequently, motorists took advantage of open lanes to – speed. Law enforcement was scarce as officers feared contracting Covid from personal encounters with infected motorists. 

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Largest Spike of Impaired Driving Since 2006

This past year, 2021, saw the largest spike or increase in drunk or impaired driving in 15 years. This is worrisome to traffic safety advocates and perhaps perplexing since organizations like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) and others have lobbied over the years for and convinced legislators across the nation, including Massachusetts, to impose stricter penalties for impaired driving.  During holidays and at other random times, police roadblocks to detain and arrest drunk drivers offer disincentives to motorists to drink and drive. Many high schools offer driving classes or seminars that emphasize the risks of drunk driving to novice motorists. 

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Congress Mandates Car Technology to Prevent Drunk Driving

Since cars were invented and vehicles became ubiquitous throughout the nation in the early and mid-20th century, drunk driving has been a concern.  But only when fatalities from drunk driving accidents continued to increase year-by-year and people became fed up with the carnage that stricter laws and enforcement were implemented.  Notwithstanding numerous media campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving, states including Massachusetts have seen little progress in preventing needless deaths from impaired drivers.

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How a Speeding Ticket Impacts Insurance in Massachusetts

There is no doubt that a speeding ticket is often among the most expensive citations a motorist can receive other than ones for impaired driving or for causing a serious or fatal accident.  The fines associated with speeding often depend on the degree to which a motorist exceeded the posted speed limit.  In Massachusetts, you can expect your insurance to increase by an average of 31% for a speeding ticket.  For example, if you were paying $1,223 per year in premiums each year, a speeding ticket could increase that to $1,602.00.

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