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22 Oct 2016 

What is the Difference Between DUI and DWI?

Did You Know?

In all states across the U.S., a first-offense DUI or DWI is classified as a misdemeanor, and punishable by up to six months in jail, which may be increased under certain circumstances. In addition, courts can and do impose simple assault high fines ranging from USD 500 to USD 2,000.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are driving violations, both basically refer to drinking and driving. They can also be called operating under the influence or impaired driving. These are legal offenses of driving a vehicle while having consumed alcohol or other drugs. You may have noticed 'drunk driving' check posts/signs on streets in some areas. Traffic cops periodically check vehicles for people who drive when they are drunk. In fact, such checks are frequently carried out at places that are prone to accidents. Read this Buzzle article further to know some more points of difference in this DUI vs. DWI comparison.

Definitions of Related Terms

? Blood Alcohol Level / Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

It refers to the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream and is usually measured in percentages.

It is measured either by testing an individual's breath, blood, or urine. This test is used to determine whether the driver is 'legally drunk' or not.

If the person is found to have a BAC percentage above the legally acceptable value, he/she is considered to be 'legally drunk'.

This law has been accepted by all the 50 states. As of 2013, the legally acceptable BAC value is 0.08%. This means that if the driver's BAC is 0.08% or higher, he/she is punishable under the law.

? Administrative License Suspension

It is a law that allows the cops to confiscate and suspend a driver's license immediately when a driver is charged with the 'driving while intoxicated' offense. It may also be applicable before adjudicating the charge, i.e., if the offender's BAC is above the set limit or if he refuses to take the test.

? Penalties

They vary from paying a fine, serving jail time, license suspension, to hours of community service and education programs.

In different states, the time period for suspension of administrative license ranges from 3 months to a year. This depends on several factors; if you are a minor and this is your first offense, the suspension period could be shorter. If you've committed the offense before, or if you refuse to take the test, your license will be suspended nevertheless, on the grounds of non-compliance regarding the law.

Community service is mostly handed down to minors (not necessarily, of course) as a part of the sentence. This includes jobs, like janitorial services, working at old-age homes, etc. The number of hours depends on the courts and other related factors.

Serving jail time and paying fines are mostly compulsory. For offenses that have been classified as felony, the offender could be sentenced to several years of jail time.

A point to note here is that the penalties vary from state to state. New York could have a different way to deal with this problem than Texas or Wyoming. It also depends on the officer in charge at that moment. The fines, jail times, and laws are all handled differently in all states.

Testing Methods and Devices

The testing methods mostly include breath analysis, blood, and urine tests. There are also field sobriety tests, which include reciting alphabets, standing on one leg, walk-and-turn, etc. These are carried out to determine the impaired state of the offender due to alcohol. Some of the testing devices used are as follows:

? Breathalyzer

It is a breath analysis device that provides an estimate of blood alcohol based upon the chemical analysis of a breath sample.

? Intoximeter

It involves the chemical analysis of a breath sample to measure the BAC by means of an electrical reaction.

? BAC Datamaster

A breath analysis device that uses infrared spectroscopy to provide an estimate of alcohol in the blood. This device is not portable and is generally kept at the police station.

? Portable Breath Test (PBT)

It is a portable device used by the cops, generally at a check post, to determine whether the person is drunk or not. It may not be completely reliable.

Notable Points of Difference




It is applied when that the person is under the influence of alcoholic drinks or drugs like weed (he may have consumed it in less amount). What this essentially means is that the offense does not involve only alcohol. You will be in trouble even if you consume any physician-prescribed medication that might have side-effects which might cause you to drive erratically.

It clearly indicates that the person is very high on alcohol. He is completely intoxicated, and according to the law, he should not be driving at all.

Interpretation of Laws

The terms are interpreted differently in different states. In Texas, it refers to a minor who is caught drinking and driving, while in New York, it is used when your BAC is below the legal limit of 0.08%.

In Texas, it refers to an adult caught drinking and driving, while in New York, it is applied when the BAC is above the legal limit. Some states (like New Jersey) have a zero-tolerance policy and do not recognize any differences between the two.


They vary state-wise as well. In Arizona, the license is suspended for 1 year on the first offense, while in Maryland, the suspension is for 4 months. You will have to pay fines as well, which vary according to the severity of the offense and the court orders.

In New York, a person charged with this offense may have to pay a fine ranging from USD 500 to USD 10,000, depending on the 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-time offense, and other factors. Also, he will have to serve a jail term. While in Texas, a first-time offender (mostly a minor) pays a fine of USD 500, and gets his license suspended for three months or more, depending on the hours of community service handed to you by the judge.

Remember that laws are always subject to change. In technical terms, the only difference between DUI and DWI is the inclusion of having drugs and narcotics, under the former. But in legal terms, these offenses are handled differently throughout the U.S. (as already mentioned), and depends on the severity of the crime, the circumstances, your attorney's defense, etc. The key point to keep in mind is-please do not drink and drive. It not only expungement dc harms you, but also an innocent life that is not at fault.
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21 Oct 2016 

Home Improvement :: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Push-fit Fittings

Different Types of Plumbing Fittings

- In the UK there are two ways in which most plumbing is done, the first and most common is done with copper pipe and fittings, the other is the newer visit the site plastic push fit system. The copper pipe and fittings has come under scrutiny recently as the joining of the copper pipes is increasingly

difficult as it is often time consuming and awkward due to the fact that copper pipe is often supplied in straight lengths meaning that it needs

to be joined or bent when ever a change of direction occurs. Plastics on the other hand, like that of the push fit system helps to eradicate this awkwardness. Push fit gives you a simple and easy way to make a joint without losing reliability and can be straightforwardly broken down and reassembled.

Advantages of Push-fit

- Plastic pipe is flexible; it is able to bend in a non-linear fashion. Copper piping has limited flexibility.

Plastic piping will not burst. Copper piping has a tendency to freeze and burst leaving huge amounts of damage making it harder to introduce this into

cold areas like cellars. Very much in contrast to plastic pipe.

Due to its flexibility plastic pipe can be pushed thought holes in joists rather than being laid in notches. This is not realistic with copper piping

as it is hard to get the holes in line.

Push fit systems can also be used with copper pipe when so desired as it is very adaptable.

Disadvantages of Push-Fit

- Due to its flexibility the plastic pipe will not support its own weight. This is will not jeopardize its ability to work however, but it would be difficult to poke a bent pipe through a hole in floor boards.

Plastic pipe cannot come into contact with anything that is very hot, for example a boiler. If in contact with a boiler there is a possibility that it could melt therefore it is advised that metal pipe work is used for the first few feet.

Aesthetically the plastic pipes are bigger and less attractive than its copper counter parts.

Plastic pipes and fittings are pricier than their competitor copper.


- Like that of the copper piping, plastic piping is available in both 15mm and 22mm diameter. They are available in a wide range of accessories

including: straight, right angled and Tee couplings. Washing machine taps, tap connectors, in-line stopcocks, one-way valves, stop ends and tank connectors.

Useful Suggestions

- If you don't normally use plastic fittings it is certainly worth keeping some around, especially in the winter. If a pipe bursts you will be able to fix the problem in a matter of minutes and the effects will be long lasting.
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21 Oct 2016 

Thaw Frozen Pipes the Easy Way, with How-To Video

Ol' Man Winter is blowing his frosty breath again, and that often means frozen pipes and emergency plumbing situations. If the frozen pipes burst, hundreds of gallons of water could be released into your home, causing all kinds of damage to walls, furniture, floors, carpets, and other belongings. If this happens, you'll most likely have to call a plumber or plumbing services, which won't be cheap. Add the cost of hiring a plumber to the expense of replacing or repairing everything damaged when the frozen pipes burst, and you can be looking at a substantial amount of money, especially if the rupture occurs after hours or on the weekend, when the plumber will likely charge extra for emergency plumbing. If you're alert to frozen pipes, however, you can usually prevent them from bursting. You can do this type of plumbing repair yourself, too. You don't have to hire a plumber or plumbing services.

Before you can begin to address your emergency plumbing - the frozen pipe - you'll have to identify which pipe is frozen. If you turn on the faucet and no water comes out, or if only a few drops come out, the pipe is probably frozen. Follow the pipe from the non-working faucet. Look closely at the pipes, and use a flashlight if you need to. The frozen section of a pipe is often covered with a light frost or ice crystals. If you don't observe any frost or exterior ice, feel the pipe. The frozen section will be much colder. Because water in the pipes expands as it freezes, the affected pipe might also have a bulge in it. The bulge might be slight, so toilet repair, drain repair, leaky toilet you need to look very closely. If you don't see any damage, feel for cracks. If you find any, the pipe will have to be repaired. Start looking for the frozen section of the pipe in the most likely places first - cold spots like outside walls and unheated areas.

If the frozen pipe is located in an outside wall, you can often thaw it without having to tear out the sheetrock or paneling. Simply turn the heat in your home to a higher setting and wait. Leave the faucet in the "on" position so that you'll know when the water begins flowing again. To speed up the process, aim a heat lamp, a space heater, or an infrared heat lamp at the section of wall that's housing the frozen pipe.

If the frozen pipe is located outside your home, or if it's otherwise exposed, don't turn off the water supply to your home before you begin thawing the frozen pipe. Also, you need to start the thawing process from the tap back to the frozen section. If you begin thawing behind the ice, the water that's released will have nowhere to go because it will still be blocked by ice in the frozen pipe.

Heat the pipe with a heat lamp, an infrared lamp, a heater, a blow dryer, or heated wet cloths. If the exposed pipe is located near a wall or other surface, you can use aluminum foil or a highly reflective cookie sheet to direct more heat to the pipe. On metal pipes, many homeowners use a torch to melt the ice, although this method isn't recommended. If you choose to use a torch, however, use a flame diffuser, and keep the torch moving. Be very careful, too, about setting your house on fire! No matter which method you use for thawing pipes, do it slowly. If you thaw too quickly, you can damage the pipes.

A neat gadget that you might want to consider purchasing is heat tape or pipe heating cable. This is a wrap that contains electrical wires. When plugged into an outlet, the wires heat up and subsequently warm the frozen pipe. If frozen pipes are a recurring problem at your house, heating cable would be a wise investment. If you know a hard freeze is in the weather forecast, you can also use the heating cable as a preventive measure.

Don't let your frozen pipes turn into an emergency plumbing event. Preventing a rupture is a lot less expensive and messy than a burst pipe that will require professional plumbing repair. If you can get by without calling a plumber or plumbing services, you'll be way ahead of the game!
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21 Oct 2016 

Choosing An Emergency Plumbing Professional

Many people don't think about the quality of a plumbing professional, until their kitchen sink backs up or the shower pipe bursts. When an emergency situation arises, any plumber is a good plumber, but when you're looking to hire one on short notice, there are several questions you should ask him.

The first plumbing service thing you need to know about the candidate is whether or not he has a license and insurance, and if he's been state certified. If he says he is, call your Leesburg Virginia plumber local licensing board to make sure that everything is current. Also, check with both the licensing board and your local Better Business Bureau to find out if there are or have been any recent complaints filed against him. Ask for a copy of his insurance policy, and find out if he also carries both workman's compensation and liability insurance as well.

Once you have verified that the individual is properly qualified and insured, find out how long she has been in business. If she was not referred to you by someone you feel comfortable with, ask for the names of three to five people she has done work for in the past. Find out what type of job she performed for the previous customer. Was the work done on time? Did she keep the project within the customer's budget? Was she on time, courteous and thorough? When the work was completed, did she leave a mess behind, or take the time to clean up afterwards? If the plumbing professional is hired through a company, check the track record of the business: how many complaints were filed against them, for what and what actions were taken against the establishment.

Finally, ask about the plumbing professional's rates, the types of materials he uses and any guarantee he provides. You can get a fair idea of hourly rates by calling around to different companies, but find out how his rates are calculated. Ideally, you should request a free home inspection beforehand, but in an emergency situation, this is not always possible. Review the written estimate carefully. Does he automatically try to save money by using low-quality materials? If he provides brand names of some products, check to see if they allow the homeowner to benefit from the protection of a manufacturer's warranty. You should find out in advance what will happen in the event there is a problem after the work is completed. If the project requires a permit, find out who is responsible for obtaining it, to avoid later complications.

20 Oct 2016 

Contractor Done You Wrong? Get Cash Back

One of the silver linings of the recession is that many contractors are willing to work for less right now because construction work has dried up and they need income. So if you are fortunate enough to have a stable job and available funds, it could be a great time to remodel your house or tackle smaller projects you've been itching to do.

Of course, you should make sure you hire a licensed contractor. (If you live in a state that does not require contractors to be licensed, I feel for you. That makes it much harder to assure you are hiring knowledgeable professionals.) I've preached early and often about how dangerous unlicensed contractors can be. But here's one much more enticing reason to hire a licensed one: the possibility of getting your money back if things go wrong.

Many states stockpile funds to compensate people who've been wronged by licensed contractors. States call their contractor kitties different things -- construction recovery fund, contractor guaranty fund, construction industries fund -- to name a few. I call it a coup for consumers. The only bad thing about these funds is that not enough people know about them.

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I once interviewed a woman who wanted to build an apartment onto her son's house, so that as she got older she could be near family, but still be independent. She and her children scraped together a $13,000 down payment and hired a contractor. The contractor had some plans drawn up and cleared some trees, but then months passed and he never returned.

Beatrice didn't want to sue the contractor, because she figured that would cost more money than she had lost in the first emergency plumber place. I told her about her state's contractor guaranty fund and the state paid her back because she had had the foresight to hire a licensed contractor.

Here's how it works. Every time a contractor renews his license he has to contribute to the fund. That pool of money covers shoddy, incomplete and abandoned work. In some states, you can apply directly to the fund for compensation. In other states, you have to file and win a lawsuit first. Typically, the state investigates and tries to mediate with the contractor first. If the contractor won't pay up, then you get a hearing. You can usually represent yourself at the hearing. You don't need a lawyer -- but be thorough. If you prove your case, the state gives you the cash.

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Different states have different caps on the amount of money they will give you. I know of one state that limits each homeowner to $10,000 and another that awards up to $50,000. Some states require you to demonstrate that you've tried everything to get the contractor himself to pay you back -- like suing him and taking out liens against his personal property. Other states specify that their funds are only meant for situations where the work was not done up to code. Statutes of limitations for making a claim also vary.

In this economy, losing money is particularly galling. So spread the word about the money many states have available to compensate people for crummy or crooked contractors.

Do Your Homework

If your state or county requires contractors to be licensed, make sure you hire a company licensed to perform work in your jurisdiction. A license from another state or county is not valid.

Have that contractor give you a detailed written estimate. Some states won't let you tap into the compensation fund without it.

Refuse to pay too much money up front. Don't let the money get ahead of the work performed. That way, if your state's compensation fund is capped at, say, $10,000, you will be covered.

If you have problems with your contractor, immediately research your options, so you can file a claim within the statute of limitations.

Whether you have to go to court or to a state hearing, be organized. Bring at least two copies of all your paperwork, so you can hand one copy over and refer to the other. Document problem spots with photographs or videos.

How to Complain

To complain about a contractor and get information about your state's compensation fund, contact the state agency that licenses contractors. Depending on the state, it may be called the Board of Contractors, the Home Improvement Commission, the Department of Licensing and Regulation or other names.

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