Tips and Tricks

What Happens During the DUI Evaluation Process?

A lot of feelings run through you when you get caught driving while under the influence (DUI). If you are found guilty at your court date, you will need to undergo the DUI evaluation process

During the evaluation process, you will go through several steps. Completing this program may also be part of a DUI diversion program.

Screening

The very first thing that will happen is you will be screened. This screening is specifically for determining whether you have a drug or alcohol problem or not. Sometimes you might be asked to take the CAGE questionnaire. This questionnaire will help you determine the overall level of your problem.

After the initial screening process, if it is determined you do not have a drug or alcohol problem, you won’t have to go through extensive treatments.

Interview

Next, you will meet with a counselor for an entrance interview. To access most DUI services in Lexington, you will at least have to go through the interview process.

During the interview, you will be asked about:

  • Your health
  • Your medication history
  • Your medical history
  • The reasons you used the substance
  • Your drug and alcohol use.

This process is sometimes referred to as the interview and assessment if the two parts of the process are combined to make things easier for you and the people doing the evaluation. 

Assessment

It is not uncommon for a psychologist to do an evaluation during the assessment portion as well. This is all to find the right treatment program for you.

They will ask you about your career, employment and relationships. This is so that they can find out what triggers your drinking or drug use and what might help to prevent a relapse.

Outcome

The outcome portion is where everything is compiled, and a treatment program is designed. Some possibilities are:

  • Residential treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous
  • Drug testing
  • Treatment with medications

You might be asked to do one or all of these. In rare cases, you might not have to do anything but a single class, course or psychological counseling.

If you fail to complete this evaluation, there is a good possibility that you will find yourself in court again. In most areas, it is a requirement for you to get your license back.

Paperwork

You will need to keep a few things and bring them with you to the evaluation, your parole officer and your counselor. You will need your arrest record, enrollment paperwork, judgment and the evaluation outcome. If you do not have these,  you might end up back in court for a harsher sentence.

Remember, this whole procedure is designed to ensure you do not wind up back in court with another DUI. It can also help you with a drug or alcohol problem.

Overall a DUI evaluation is not something to be scared about. It is a relatively simple procedure and is much like filling out forms and having an interview to go to a doctor or a psychologist. You must attend the evaluation and any treatments assigned.

Gift Guides, Home, Tips and Tricks

4 Budget-Friendly Anniversary Gift Ideas

4 Budget-Friendly Anniversary Gift Ideas

It can be challenging to find the perfect holiday gift for your partner. However, finding the right present for anniversaries can be even more difficult. Maybe you’re a new couple, and you celebrate your monthaversaries, or perhaps you and your partner have been married for years. Regardless, finding the right gift is important because it represents your appreciation and love for your romantic relationship and partner. 

If you feel like you’re struggling to come up with perfect Anniversary gift ideas for your loved one or are two busing planning a fun day that you haven’t had time to even think about it, here are some fantastic suggestions for you. 

1 A Framed Photograph

A simple and romantic anniversary gift for who you love is a framed photograph of the two of you. Consider framing a picture of significant milestones in your lives like your wedding or first photo together. A special photo of the two of you is a great way to remember and honor the special moments you’ve experienced together. 

If you want to make this anniversary gift even more spectacular, consider upgrading to a cheap canvas for a modern display of your photograph. Printing photos onto a canvas is a great way to boost the quality of your photos.

You can also include a handwritten letter to go with your gift. Handwritten letters are a great way to express your feelings to your partner and will be special to read again years later. You can tape your note to the back of the canvas or write it on a notecard to place beside the photo. 

2. A Personalized Playlist

Whether you want to go the old school route with a mixed tape or CD or simply create a playlist off of your favorite music downloading app, your special someone will love the thoughtfulness and creativity that you’ve put into curating an anniversary playlist for them. 

You’ll want to include songs that are special to the two of you and others that make you think of your partner. You might even include a few to jog up specific memories or milestones that you have had together. Be sure to title your playlist something sweet as the cherry on top of this go-to anniversary gift. 

food gift

3. A Signature Cake

Nothing says “happy anniversary” like a signature cake. If your partner has a sweet tooth, you can create a custom cake with your lover’s favorite flavors and toppings. Include a funny or sweet message to go on top. Many local bakeries offer tons of lovely options for high-quality cakes. Just make sure to order ahead of time! 

The cakes you get at the grocery store are limited in their design capabilities, so it might be best to work with a baker who can customize your cake exactly how you want it. Find some romantic candles to fill the room up with some romantic lighting and ambiance or to top your cake.

4. A Handmade Scrapbook 

Your anniversary is about celebrating your relationship and the time and experiences you’ve gone through together. A scrapbook is a special way to honor those memories.  Create a colorful photobook or digital picture frame of some of your best moments together throughout your relationship. 

You might even title the scrapbook with the dates that the pictures run through. Get creative with the scrapbook paper and cutouts you use to decorate your book. Personalize it to your partner’s tastes so they’ll enjoy your decorations as well as the thought and effort you put into making their anniversary scrapbook. 

Gifts From The Heart  

The best budget-friendly anniversary gifts are those that come from the heart. Whether you use music, artwork, photographs, or food to convey your message, your partner will love whatever you come up with that reminds them of your love and care. Consider the above four suggestions as you create your budget-friendly anniversary gift this year.  

Tips and Tricks

Tips for Buying a Laser Engraving Machine

Tips for Buying a Laser Engraving Machine

Purchasing a laser engraving machine is a major decision for individuals and businesses. The machine is sophisticated, and it uses extremely powerful lasers for engraving. It is like a 3D printer and performs jobs effectively. As a result, you need to consider certain factors before buying one.

Since there are many options on the market, it may be difficult to determine the right machine for you. In this article, we will help you figure out how to choose a suitable laser engraving machine.

What is a Laser Engraving Machine and How Does it Work?

As its name implies, it is a number-controlled device that engraves designs on materials. It is a subtractive method of manufacturing by using lasers to change the surfaces of objects. The process is majorly used when creating images that are noticeable at eye level on materials.

To achieve the result, the machine creates intense heat through its lasers to vaporize the particles on the material for engravement. This will expose cavities on the material, thereby, forming the resulting image. The lasers mark the object’s surface. You may want to watch this video to see how a laser engraver functions.

The method is quite fast because the designs are created as the lasers move. Also, the frequency of the lasers’ movements on the object for engravement determines the deepness of the marks they create. 

Laser engravers are of various types. One has a stable workpiece where the laser alone does the movements (or inversely). Some machines are specifically for cylindrical items. Also, there are machines that the workpiece and laser do not move, but some galvo mirrors move the laser on the object’s surface when engraving.

Laser engraving is not the same as the mechanical or other traditional manual methods of engravement. The mechanical machine uses mechanical methods, like diamonds and items that are extremely hard, to engrave materials. But the laser machine uses thermal energy from lasers.

The machine is used universally, and it has high accuracy and speed. Compared to the traditional manual method, the laser method makes the effect quite delicate. It is more advantageous which has made it a good replacement for traditional methods and others.

Factors to Consider when Purchasing a Laser Engraver

Below are the factors to consider when you want to buy an engraver.

1. The Type of Materials for Engraving

The materials you work with will determine the laser engraver to buy. There are various materials for engraving. They include metal, acrylic, paper, plastic, and wood. Not every device can work on all types of materials. Thus, choose one that is compatible with your workpiece.

Additionally, the area to engrave is important. Some devices can work on large areas while others only work on small areas. Also, you need to decide whether you want the machine for DIY home use or professional use. 

It will not be a good decision to spend so much money when you want a machine for personal, home use. However, if you want it for your business, investing in a device that has optimal efficiency and performance with strong laser powers is worth it.

2. The Level of Accuracy

There are different factors that influence the accuracy of the machine. The following are the most prominent ones:

  1. Generally, square devices are more accurate than compass types.
  2. The more the spindle power of a device, the more accurate it becomes.
  3. The proficiency and technique a technician use when assembling the machine determine its accuracy. A machine that runs better will have a high level of accuracy.
  4. The device has two transmission methods: rack gear and lead screw drive. The drive type influences the accuracy of the machine. Generally, the lead screw drive has a higher precision level than the rack gear type.

3. Maintenance

This is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing the machine. You need to know the required frequency of maintenance for the device. You also need to check whether it is something that you can do by yourself or you must hire a technician. 

Trying to know whether a device is easy to repair or maintain is complicated. It may even result in downtimes for your business. If it’s difficult, you may need the help of a technician, which will result in extra costs. Therefore, look for devices that are easy to repair and maintain. You may want to visit https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Clean-Your-Laser-Machine/ to learn how to maintain an engraving machine.

4. The Replacement Parts

You need to check if the device has readily available replacement parts in case it breaks down. Irrespective of the type you buy, it is still a machine, and it will break down someday. 

Also, no matter your level of meticulousness, a time will come when you need to replace certain parts. Hence, ensure that you can easily get the parts, else you will wait for some months before they get to you.

5. Your Budget

This is on the list of most important factors when it comes to buying an engraving machine. This is because your budget determines the type of machine you can buy. Although the price of the machine should not dictate its quality, your budget is an important decision-making factor.

If you want a device that can engrave on different materials, you should expect to spend more money. There may be cheaper options, but they may consume more energy and power, making them expensive over time. Therefore, ensure you consider these factors when setting your budget.

The prices of engravers vary. The factors affecting their prices include the type of laser, engraving material, engraving area, and laser power.

What Can You Do with a Laser Engraving Machine?

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You can use the device on almost any type of surface – glass, leather, wood, plastic, or metal. You can also get various engraved materials. Additionally, it is very effective compared to traditional methods for smaller objects like jewelry. 

Also, the chances of deforming or damaging the material are small and you can apply the technique in different fields like fine art and medicine. The device has many industrial applications, but you can still use it at home. An example of a home engraver is the carbon dioxide laser system. You can connect it to your computer’s USB port, and it works like your home printer. 

You can use the device in the following industries:

  1. Advertising: engraving double-color plates, acrylic, signs, crystals, trophies, authorizations, etc.
  2. Glass: pre-engraving sandblasting films, shadows, glass background walls, glass screens, etc.
  3. Marble: engraving images and creating decorative paintings (first engrave, then hand color before mounting on a frame).
  4. Jewelry: gold engravings and making jade and gold pendants.
  5. Handicraft: engraving text and beautiful patterns on shells, marble, leather, bones, ivory, bamboo, wood, etc.
  6. Leather Garment: complex text graphic engraving on fur, fabric, artificial leather, and synthetic leather. Engraving on garments, gloves, home decoration, hats, shoes, handbags, cars, and toys. 
  7. Packaging: engraving on a rubber sheet, knife sheet for cutting die, double-layered sheet, plastic sheet, etc.
  8. Models: creating airplane models, architectural sand table models, etc. 

Benefits of Using a Laser Engraving Machine

The benefits of using a laser engraver are:

1. It is Reliable

One major benefit of this method of engraving is that the laser beam does not touch the material physically. Instead, it relies on heat from the lasers to get the job done. This method is referred to as a non-contact method.

This gives it an edge over traditional methods as it does not leave knife marks that end up damaging or deforming the surface of processed parts or materials. The lasers target only a portion for vaporization while the surrounding areas are left untouched.

2. It is Safe

The device focuses on safety for both its users and consumers. Since it replaces manual methods that involve using harmful chemicals, the device prevents workers from operating under such conditions. It works with a computer; therefore, you can operate it from a certain distance. 

3. It is Eco-Friendly

Since it removes the use of chemicals, lasers are environmentally friendly compared to other methods. It does not only achieve this during the engraving process but also when the entire process is over. It leaves a little amount of waste since a huge part is vaporized. Unlike harmful wastes, the wastes that lasers leave are usually in form of dust particles. 

4. It is Highly Efficient

The process is highly efficient, and you can switch between different materials and depths to achieve various results. It is also efficient when you think about costs of maintenance and service life, which are lower than traditional methods.

Some recent devices can complete both engraving and marking. Both are quite similar but marking leaves marks at the surface level; it does not go deep. You may want to check our list of best laser engraving machine to know which one is suitable for your business or personal use.

Conclusion

This article focused on the factors to consider when purchasing a laser engraver. It also discussed the uses and benefits of the machine. We hope the information shared has been useful.

Education, Tips and Tricks

4 Tips for Filing Taxes in 2021

In case you forgot, tax season is creeping up on us again. 2020 was a bizarre year for all of us, and your taxes this year might reflect that. Don’t get caught doing your taxes last minute! Here are 4 Tips for Filing Taxes in 2021.

  1. Get organized

Start a filing system for all of your documents. Keep all the transactions and receipts that can affect your tax return in 2021. It’s important to stay organized so that you don’t lose anything and you don’t forget items from months ago. Be aware that the last day for filing taxes in 2021 is April 15. 

  1. Figure out your bracket

To estimate how much in taxes you owe this year, you need to find out what tax bracket you belong to. The U.S. has a progressive tax system, and the rate at which you are taxed ranges from 10%- 37% of your annual income. This is not a flat rate because each individual tax bracket is taxed at the rate set for the bracket. The tax brackets are as follows:

  • 10% for incomes less than $9,875
  • 12% for incomes more than $9,875
  • 22% for incomes more than $40,125
  • 24% for incomes more than $85,525
  • 32% for incomes more than $163,300
  • 35% for incomes more than $207,350
  • 37% for incomes more than $518,400

Be aware of the fact that unemployment benefits are taxable income. 

  1. Learn about the deductions and credits you can apply for

A deduction is an expense that you’ve had during the year that you can subtract from your taxable income. A tax credit is an actual dollar-to-dollar reduction in your tax bill. Many of the same deductions and credits apply from last year. Some popular ones to be aware of include:

  • Child Tax Credit – If you have a child who you can claim as a dependant, you can get up to $2,000 per child. If you end up having $0 to pay in taxes this year, you can even get a credit of $1,400 from the IRS.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit – If you earned less than $56,844 last year, you might be eligible for the EITC, which can give you $538 to $6,660.
  • Business Expenses – Those who are self-employed can claim expenses on their tax return, ranging from rent, travel expenses, and office supplies.
  • Medical Deductions – If you’ve spent time in the hospital because of the pandemic or any other reason, you can deduct anything over 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
  • Charitable Deductions – The CARES Act allows you to deduct up to 100% of your adjustable gross income from your taxes.
  • Education – The American Opportunity Credit (AOC) allows you to deduct $2,500 from your taxes if you are in your first four years of college. If you are past that, you can deduct up to $2,000 as part of the Lifetime Learning Credit.
  • The stimulus check and the CARES Act Relief Fund count as a credit this year and not as a deduction from your taxes. 
  • The PPP loan acts as a deduction that you can use on any expenses paid from the loan from your taxable income.
  1. Retirement funds

There are generally two different retirement funds out there, the 401(k) and the IRA, and you should be aware of how they affect your taxes. Money put into a 401(k) won’t get taxed by the IRS. However, the IRA works a little differently depending on if you have a traditional or Roth IRA. With a traditional IRA, you don’t pay taxes on your deposits, but you pay taxes on your withdrawals. Roth IRAs are the opposite: you pay taxes on what you put in, but not on what you take out.

These tips should make filing your taxes this year just a little less difficult. If you need more tax help, remember to seek out a professional to avoid costly mistakes.