In 2011, drunk driving was the cause of 207 traffic fatalities in Indiana, making up 28 percent of all the state’s traffic deaths that year. With felony DUIs and DUI child endangerment laws, the state is tough on drunk driving offenders who have endangered children and harmed others, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving continuously works toward preventing drunk driving and DUI-related injuries and deaths in Indiana by urging the state to require ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders. Currently, ignition interlocks aren’t required for any offenders and are sentenced only at a judge’s discretion.
Anyone who operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 in Indiana is guilty of driving under the influence (DUI). If the offender’s BAC was below 0.15, the DUI is a Class C Misdemeanor. If the offender’s BAC was over 0.15, the DUI is a Class A Misdemeanor. DUI offenders in Indiana are subject to fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and participation in a substance abuse education course:
- 1st Offense: Up to $5,000 fine; up to 1 year in jail; 30-day to 2-year license suspension
- 2nd Offense: Up to $10,000 fine; 5 days to 3 years in jail; 180-day to 2-year license suspension
- 3rd Offense: Up to $10,000 fine; 10 days to 3 years in jail; 1- to 10-year license suspension
Offenders may also be required to complete community service, receive an alcohol and drug abuse assessment, and, if necessary, successfully complete an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program. Third-time offenders will be declared as habitual traffic violators and may be imprisoned for an additional 1 to 8 years.
A DUI is elevated to a Class D Felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and 6 months to 3 years in prison, if the DUI offense is the second committed within 5 years, if the offender committed the offense while a passenger under the age of 18 was in the vehicle, or if the offender caused serious bodily injury to another person.
A drunk driving offense that results in the death of another person is elevated to a Class C Felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and 2 to 8 years in prison.
The legal limit for drivers under the age of 21 is 0.02. Drivers under the age of 21 who are convicted of DUI will be fined up to $500 and will lose their license for up to 1 year.
Ignition Interlock Laws
Ignition interlock installation is not mandatory for any convicted drunk driver in Indiana. At the discretion of the judge, a drunk driving offender may be required to install the device in order to receive limited driving privileges.