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Actor Vince Vaughn charged with drunk driving offense

Ohio movie fans may be interested in learning that actor Vince Vaughn was officially charged with DUI on September 7. The 48-year-old actor faced charges after an alleged drunk driving incident that occurred on June 10.

Vaughn was reportedly stopped at a routine sobriety checkpoint at about 12:40 a.m. on June 10 in Manhattan Beach, California, at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Artesia Boulevard. During the incident, it was reported that he was repeatedly asked to leave his vehicle, but he continued to refuse. He was eventually taken into police custody. He was ultimately released after he posted bail.

Tips for helping your children deal with your divorce

While divorce is difficult on you and your ex-spouse, your children are likely facing some of the most difficult emotional trauma of all. That is because children have less direct information about the complicated dynamics that led to the divorce, and less emotional maturity and life experience to process the event and handle the dramatic change to their lives.

Depending on their ages, your children may need vastly different types of support and coping mechanisms to help them move through the process of divorce in a healthy and emotionally balanced way. Here are some strategies and tips you can use as you go through divorce to help your children have the tools they need to successfully handle this difficult time.

Divorce can spread within a social group

It may come as no surprise to some Ohio couples that divorce seems to occur in waves within social groups. Not only is the idea of "divorce contagion" something that people often report anecdotally in their social lives, it is backed up by scientific research. According to researchers from Brown University, Harvard University and the University of California at San Diego, spouses with divorced friends are 75 percent more likely to separate themselves. Even spouses with friends of friends who divorce are one-third more likely to decide to divorce.

Of course, there are a number of reasons for these statistics. They reflect communities, cultures and social groups that are more open to divorce. Friends within these groups may therefore be more willing to consider divorce themselves. When spouses choose to divorce, it can also cause close friends in unhappy marriages to begin thinking about making changes. Many people stay in bad relationships due to a sense of inertia. When a friend seems to find a way out of that trap, it can motivate others to take action for their own lives and happiness.

Rights may be curtailed with GPS monitoring devices

In some cases, defendants in Ohio and around the country are allowed to wear GPS bracelets as opposed to spending time in jail. However, there are limits to how free a person can be when wearing such a device. For example, a person can be sent back to jail or prison if the device is removed. This may be true even if it is removed to have an X-ray or MRI performed.

Some who have worn the device have complained that it causes skin irritation or is otherwise uncomfortable. Since the ankle bracelet is equipped with GPS, the government can track a person's every move, which erodes his or her right to privacy. Depending on the type of crime a person has committed, it may be necessary to wear the device for several years.

Preparing to co-parent after the divorce

When parents in Ohio make the decision to end their marriage, they may be concerned about how to deal with the post-divorce future of co-parenting. Issues about child custody and visitation are often some of the most emotionally fraught aspects of a divorce. It can always be very difficult to adjust to a new reality in which the children are no longer sharing their parents' home on a full-time basis. There are some guidelines, however, that can help people move successfully through the transition to co-parenting.

First, when parents go through a divorce, it is important to prioritize the interests of the children. Even when both parents can't stand each other, the children love both of them and need to be supported in their desire to communicate and spend time with each parent. In addition, it is important for parents to refrain from sharing intimate divorce details with the children. The kids don't need to take sides, and they may feel an excessive sense of responsibility for the divorce.

Study finds judges biased against black defendants

Some black defendants might be more likely to go to jail while awaiting a court hearing in Ohio or in other states compared to white defendants. This was the conclusion of a study that will appear in The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

The study examined tens of thousands of cases over a number of years in Philadelphia County and Miami-Dade County and found that on average, the bail for black defendants was more than $7,000 higher than it was for white defendants. This can be a factor in who stays in jail prior to a trial since some defendants may be unable to pay the bail amount. Black defendants had a 2.4 percent higher chance of staying in jail than white defendants prior to the court hearing.

Social consequences of an underage OVI

Although the legal drinking age is 21, plenty of teenagers find ways to obtain alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that over 230,000 teenagers had to go to the emergency room for injuries sustained while operating a vehicle intoxicated.

In addition to the legal consequences of an Ohio OVI, such as fines and jail time, teenagers can face various other consequences. A teen's entire social life can be up in the air due to one mistake. 

Preparing for retirement after a divorce

It has been widely reported in Ohio and around the country that many people are financially unprepared for retirement, but figures from the Center for Retirement Research reveal that divorced individuals are in an even more precarious position. The CRR developed a retirement risk index in 2006 to find out how many households will be able to maintain their standards of living during retirement, and they discovered that the risk factor for divorced spouses was 7 percent higher than the population as a whole.

Experts say that this is due to the financial adjustments that divorced spouses must make. Married couples are able to share household expenses while they save for retirement, but divorced individuals must often meet these obligations from a single paycheck. Catching up on their retirement savings can be especially difficult for people who divorce later in life, which is concerning because the divorce rate among persons aged 50 or older has more than doubled since 1990.

Marijuana laws in flux in Ohio

While Ohio's marijuana laws have loosened in recent years along with many other states across the country, the federal government still considers sale, possession and trafficking of marijuana to be illegal across the country. A growing number of states have also legalized medical marijuana, including Ohio. While dispensaries have not been established in the state, people who are eligible for medical marijuana can receive a patient identification card which can help to establish a defense in case a person is charged with a marijuana offense.

Under current law, the possession of fewer than 100 grams of cannabis is considered a minor misdemeanor in Ohio, as is the transfer of fewer than 20 grams. While a person cannot be sent to jail on this type of drug charge, they could face a driver's license suspension or up to $150 in fines. However, possession of over 200 grams of marijuana or selling or transferring over 20 grams could result in felony charges.

U.S. Supreme Court limits Fourth Amendment vehicle exception

The Fourth Amendment provides protection against unreasonable search and seizure, but police officers in Ohio and around the country are permitted to conduct warrantless searches in certain situations. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1925 that police could search a motor vehicle without first obtaining a search warrant provided they have probable cause to believe that evidence of criminal activity will be discovered. The nation's highest court issued another ruling on May 29 that clarified the scope of this exception.

The case involved a Virginia man who was convicted of receiving stolen property after police discovered a motorcycle at a Charlottesville residence. The man appealed his conviction because the police officers involved did not obtain a search warrant. Police found the motorcycle parked just a few feet from the residence and covered with a tarpaulin. Officers made the discovery while looking for a motorcycle that had been used to evade law enforcement on two occasions.

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