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Parents: Make sure school-age kids know the risks of the road

As fall approaches and schools reopen, many Tennessee school districts are returning to traditional models or implementing hybrid models for this coming school year.

Most districts are providing remote learning as an option, while others have students participating in a blend of in-person and remote learning, with staggered attendance. Regardless of the situation, parents must take care to educate their children about how they can get to and from school safely.

Do I have to cooperate with sobriety checkpoints?

In Tennessee, law enforcement has the legal authority to set up sobriety checkpoints. These are blocked areas of the road where every driver, or every few drivers, is stopped so officers can try to detect if the driver is intoxicated. If you are pulled over at a DUI checkpoint, however, you have rights and you should exercise them.

Enough opioid prescriptions for half of all Americans?

"We're 5% of the world's population, but we consume 80% of the world's prescription opioids," says one Stanford medical researcher of the U.S.

That's a problem, especially because opioid painkillers put people at risk for addiction and overdose. Nevertheless, according to public data analyzed by NPR, enough opioid prescriptions are written each year in the U.S. that half of all Americans could have one. These prescribing rates are widely considered unsafe for patients.

Would a car-based breathalyzer reduce drunk driving?

Last year, lawmakers introduced the Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act, which would require automakers to make standard new technology that would gauge every driver's blood alcohol concentration before it would allow them to drive. It would be like having a permanent breathalyzer in your car.

Does this make sense? 

New report and reminder: Never overlook pool safety

In a recent blog post, we discussed how parents can take measures to keep their families safe at the pool this summer.

However, it seems it is necessary to highlight pool and water safety again since a new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) demonstrates it is even more critical than ever.

Taking prescription medication? How to avoid a DUI.

Not many people think about the risk of criminal charges when they take a medication prescribed to them by their doctor. However, some prescription medications can impair drivers and put them at risk of facing a DUI.

Here are three essential tips to help you avoid driving under the influence when taking prescription drugs.

Experts: COVID-19 testing in long-term care facilities falls short

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, residents and staff of long-term care facilities account for almost 45% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. Yet testing for the virus has not reached levels that experts say are necessary to stem the spread of the virus.

Stateline, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts, says that only seven states even require ongoing testing of these residents, staff or both. Those states are Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Maryland, Florida, Louisiana and New Mexico.

Penalties when an impaired minor drives in Tennessee

For most people, getting your driver's license is an exciting part of being a teenager. Yet teenagers routinely engage in behavior meant to challenge authority, and that can mean experimenting with alcohol or drugs. What happens when that experimentation occurs in combination with driving?

Under Tennessee law, anyone under 21 who drives under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substance can be charged with DUI. Specifically for alcohol, that means that you can be convicted of DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02% or greater. Additionally, any detectible amount of an illegal drug can result in a DUI.

Nonprofits urge US recall of J&J Baby Powder, end to global sales

Thousands of people in the U.S. have sued Johnson & Johnson, claiming that its talc-based products such as Baby Powder are contaminated by asbestos and caused cancer after routine use. Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and is mined in the same soil types as talc, but J&J denies that its talc-based products ever contain asbestos.

In 2018, however, Reuters issued an investigative report indicating that J&J has known for decades that at least some of its talc was contaminated by asbestos and took active steps to cover it up.

Judge raises concerns about Bayer's Roundup settlement scheme

Thousands of people have sued Bayer, which bought Monsanto, over the product Roundup. Most plaintiffs claim that routine use of Roundup, which contains the weed killer glyphosate, caused them to develop cancer.

After several adverse verdicts, Bayer attempted to settle a class of future claims -- close to 100,000 -- in an interesting way. Bayer would create a panel of independent scientific experts who would determine the matter of whether glyphosate causes cancer. This would be done out of court and in lieu of a jury.

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