Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C

400 Poydras Street, Suite 1680
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
United States (US)
Phone: (504) 680-4304
Fax: (504) 527-5456

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Your Best Friend: The Ignition Interlock

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ignitionAs you are leaving a friend’s 50th birthday party, your friend runs out to meet you.

“Hey, have you been drinking?” he asks.

You stop dead in your tracks. You have had a few beers, but you also ate a big dinner. Are you okay to drive? You didn’t accept that free martini. Perhaps you are all right, but regardless, your friend convinces you to leave your car at the party and catch a ride with him, not letting you drive.

You were questioning it. Were you okay to drive?  [Read more…]

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Independence Day Joyriders Include Football Star

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blurry lightsThe holidays provide the perfect opportunity for fun with family and friends. There is nothing better than celebrating the day with festive food and drinks. A holiday weekend is certainly not the time to count the calories and watch the intake.Independence day was no exception. When celebrating America’s birthday and watching the fireworks, it is almost too easy to have one too many servings of hot dogs and hamburgers, and unfortunately, one too many beers.  Unfortunately, this means that this summer holiday is not only festive, but it is also the deadliest day of the year when it comes to drivers.

The 4th of July is notorious for DWI charges and car accidents. This year’s holiday was certainly no exception.  It was almost impossible to drive to your barbecue without running into a DWI checkpoint. [Read more…]

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In One Night, This Man Saved People’s Money and Lives

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car crashOn June 22, Alex Sheen could’ve spent his evening at the movies or with friends and family. He could’ve gotten in a workout or taken his dog for a leisurely walk. He could’ve spent the evening watching one of the latest movies on Netflix.

Instead, Alex Sheen spent his Saturday night standing outside of a busy bar offering rides to people he had never met — for free. He stood with a sign saying:

“Hi, my name is Alex. If you have been drinking tonight, I’d like to offer you a free ride home. Someone I know killed a man while drinking and driving one year ago tonight. In honor of the man who died, I’d like to help keep the roads safe. I’ll even bring you back to your car tomorrow.”

[Read more…]

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Self-Driving Cars to Eliminate Human Error and Car Accidents?

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Google Self-Driving Car

“Some 90 percent of [car] accidents involve human error. What if we can make this go away?”

These were the words of Chris Urmson, the director of Google’s self-driving car project. The day when humans no longer drive cars may be sooner than we think and the concept of “driving while impaired” will be no longer.

But would our roads be safer if cars could drive themselves? As an article in the NY Times pointed out, “Robots…don’t need to sleep. Nor do they get drunk or distracted by cellphones.” [Read more…]

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Can Marijuana Impair Driving?

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Person Holding a Marijuana CigaretteMost people only talk about blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when it comes to DWI charges. However, alcohol is not the only culprit of driving impairment.

The New York Times recently published an article on the lack of attention that has been devoted to marijuana as a drug that impairs driving. When it comes to DWI charges, marijuana has taken the back seat, but this does not mean that it does not have its own dangers and legal consequences. [Read more…]

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Pop Music Sings of Drinking without the Consequences

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teen drivingWhat does Ke$ha brush her teeth with in the morning? What brand of liquor does LMFAO like? What alcohol brand name does Snoop Dogg drop in his song “I Drink I Smoke”?

If you know the answer to any of these questions, or if your child does, listen up. A recent study published last month, referenced in NPR and USA Today, found a correlation between exposure to music containing alcohol brand references and alcohol-related behaviors among adolescents. It stated that adolescents who like music that references alcohol are three times as likely to drink and twice as likely to binge than those who do not like these songs. [Read more…]

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Officers Target Underage Drinking and Driving

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Person Driving a CarDriving while intoxicated is considered a relatively serious offense in Louisiana. When a person below the legal drinking age gets behind the wheel with an elevated blood alcohol concentration level, the consequences could be even more severe.

This April, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission focused their DWI Task Force patrols on motorists under the age of 21 who choose to drink and drive. The campaign was an effort to keep young drivers safe during the season of proms, graduations and end of school parties. [Read more…]

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Can I safely use my cellphone while driving?

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New Orleans attorneyAs the technology in cellphones increases, there is also an unfortunate increase in driver-distraction. People are texting, tweeting, checking their email, answering phone calls, and setting reminders while they should be paying attention to the road.

As an auto accident attorney in New Orleans, I see the painful results of these actions all too often.

Recently, I found an article from Progressive that gives some helpful tips for drivers with concern for cellphone safety.

First, get to know your device and its features before you ever hit the road. Read the manual, memorize the keypad and speed dial functions, and know how to answer calls, all without looking at your phone.

When the option is available, a hands-free device is the safest way to go. You can choose from mounting devices to Bluetooth earpieces, all which make your drive safer. [Read more…]

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DUI checkpoint alert app

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New Orleans DUI attorneyAs an experienced DWI attorney, I’m constantly watching for any DWI law news around the country.

An article from LA Weekly recently caught my eye, highlighting an application that may help to reduce the number of people driving under the influence.

As the law struggles to keep up with technology, a Santa Monica, California man is using social media to warn Los Angeles drivers about DUI checkpoints.

MrCheckpoint, the free app created by Sennett Devermont, has been downloaded by thousands of smartphone users. The app provides daily updates on the locations of police DWI checkpoints scheduled throughout Southern California. [Read more…]

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Hands-free cell technology may not reduce distracted driving accidents

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Distracted driving - Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C.Distracted driving, particularly driving while texting, talking on a cell phone, or using another electronic handheld device, is a serious problem affecting our nation today, causing thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries every year. (According to Distraction.gov, the official government website on distracted driving, 3,331 deaths and 387,000 injuries were caused by distracted driving in 2011.)

Lawmakers and safety advocates have been energetically seeking a solution to this dangerous trend. To keep drivers’ eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, lawmakers have passed laws outlawing texting and handheld cell phone use. [Read more…]

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