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Parenting college students: How common are drugs and alcohol?

Over the next several months, thousands of parents in Maryland will be preparing to send their children off to college for the very first time. This is no doubt an exciting time, as teens continue their journey into adulthood, only now with less -- and in some cases no -- parental supervision. In just a few short months, these same teens who you were once waking up for high school will now be in charge of getting themselves to class and making the right decisions, day in and day out, without you.

It is normal for any parent to wonder about not only school decisions, but also life decisions. Will my son experiment with drugs? How much alcohol will my daughter drink? Will they fall in with the right crowd, or the wrong one? These are all common worries to have as you think about your child going to college this fall.

Can I appeal my license suspension?

It can happen in an instant — you're driving home from a bar or after a party and suddenly you see the blue lights flashing behind you. The officer approaches your vehicle and after a brief interaction, asks you to submit to an alcohol test. At this point, you have a few options. You can either take the test or refuse. Should you refuse to take the test, or submit to the test and fail it, you face a suspension of your license.

At this point, regardless of how you arrived at a suspended license, you should strongly consider enlisting the help of an experienced attorney. You do have the opportunity to appeal the suspension of your license, but there are very particular rules you must follow in order to successfully file an appeal.

Maryland ranked among safest for teen drivers

One of the most stressful times in parents' lives is when their teens begin driving on their own. With most kids now out of school for the summer, they're even more likely to be on the road. Maryland parents may take some amount of comfort in knowing that a recent study named our state the fourth safest one for teen drivers.

WalletHub.com, the personal finance website, ranked the 50 states based on factors such as DUI laws, fatalities and average repair costs. It should be noted, however, that Maryland is among the states with the highest costs paid in car repairs.

Drunk boating charges require immediate attention

Drunk driving charges are often thought about as occurring on the roads. These charges can also occur when you are on the water. Drunk boating charges are just as serious as drunk driving charges, so you should make sure that you understand the implications of drinking on the water before you take your first sip.

Even if you are accustomed to drinking alcohol, you should be careful when you do this on a boat. The motion of the water and the effects of the sun can make the alcohol impact you in a more profound manner than what occurs in bars and on the land. You might notice that you have more intense effects from the alcohol with fewer drinks than you normally consume.

The impact of drugs on field sobriety test performance

Police who suspect drivers of being under the influence generally ask them to perform multiple sobriety tests. With powerful painkillers and other prescription medications so easy to obtain, it's possible to "pass" a breathalyzer test with flying colors and badly fail other field sobriety tests. The recent DUI arrest of golf legend Tiger Woods highlights that.

The police dashcam video of Woods struggling to perform field sobriety tests including reciting the alphabet and following a light may be painful for his fans to watch. However, they show how badly even legal drugs can impact a person's reflexes.

Charged with a sex offense over a minor incident? Get help fast!

The sex offender registry was invented to give both law enforcement and communities the ability to keep sex offenders under watchful eyes -- unfortunately, over-reactions by legislatures and over-charging by prosecutors has turned the registry into a tool for punishment that doesn't always fit the crime.

There are some disturbing ways that someone can end up on the sex offender registry:

Parents can prevent underage drinking and driving this summer

As we head into summer, many teens will have more free time. This means trips to the beach, parties and hours where they're unsupervised by parents or other adults. Of course, that means that more teens will be drinking and driving.

The consequences of underage drinking and driving can include serious and even fatal injuries. They can also include getting a criminal record before they've started college.

Constitutional rights: 3 things to know about search and seizures

If you have ever watched any type of legal drama TV show, you probably have somewhat of an idea that there is a constitutional amendment – the Fourth Amendment to be exact – that protects you from unlawful searches and seizures.  And while it is important for everyone to have some understanding of what this amendment means, it is particularly important for those facing criminal charges to understand not only what it means, but what can happen if police fail to follow the proper protocols.

Why is your horizontal gaze studied prior to a DUI arrest?

When police pull over a person for suspicion of drunk driving, they generally perform a series of field sobriety tests. One of these looks at horizontal gaze nystagmus. HGN is an involuntary eye motion that occurs when someone's eye looks to the side.

If a person has consumed alcohol or some other drugs, particularly depressants, that jerking increases. The impact isn't noticeable to the person impacted by it, and it has no impact on their vision.

Former Secret Service agent sentenced to 2 decades in prison

Secret Service agents are widely considered among the most-respected law enforcement agents in the country. However, members of that elite group have had more than a few scandals and arrests in recent years.

Now a 38-year-old Maryland man who was once a uniformed officer with the Secret Service has been sentenced to two decades behind bars. He was arrested in November 2015 for sending underage girls sexually explicit photos and messages. According to prosecutors, the man, who is also a former Marine, communicated with some of these girls in multiple states while he was on duty as a White House guard.