|State's agency's logo encourages people |
to violate public intoxication law
The effort, called "DUI: Taskforce Indiana," is a project of the Marion County Traffic Safety Partnership.
Oficers from five agencies are involved: the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Cumberland Police Department, Speedway Police Department, Lawrence Police Department and the Indiana State Police.
A grant from the Governor's Council on Impaired and Dangerous Driving funds the effort. Officials with the partnership advised anyone considering drinking alcohol to pre-arrange transportation options that don't involve getting behind the wheel -- such as riding with trusted designated drivers or hiring cab drivers.Here's the thing. Even if you use a designated driver or ride in a cab, under the current interpretation of our law you are in a "public place" and can be convicted of public intoxication.
Here's part of what I wrote on my blog after the Supreme Court ruled on that issue last summer:
On Tuesday, the Indiana Supreme Court handed down Brenda Moore v. State of Indiana. A recitation of the facts are in order:
Moore was charged with Public Intoxication, a class B misdemeanor.
An Indiana Supreme Court decision in 1966, Miles v. State, 216 N.E.2d 847 (Ind. 1966), declared that a person parked alongside a highway was in a public place for the purposes of the public intoxication statute. Moore's argument was that considering the inside of a car to be a public place was against what the legislature intended when it passed the public intoxication law. She also argued that it was against the public policy of encouraging sober drivers to drive those who are too intoxicated to get behind a wheel.Here's what I wrote in a followup article:
Senator Michael Young
...Next year, when Senator Mike Young (R-Indianapolis) reintroduces his bill to reform Indiana's public intoxication law, he will be met with fierce resistance from law enforcement officials and prosecutors who will plead that the legislature not limit their "law enforcement tools" and who will assure the legislators they will exercise "discretion" wisely in using those tools.
If they will exercise their discretion reasonably, why did the IMPD officer use his "discretion" to not arrest Brenda Moore? Why did the Carl Brizzi's Marion County Prosecutor's Office exercise the "discretion" to not prosecute her? Here's another question, why did Attorney General Greg Zoeller appeal the decision to the Supreme Court to get the Court of Appeals decision in favor of the passenger thrown out and in the process deal a blow to successful designated driver programs all over the state, including programs run by the Indiana State Police who Zoeller represetns? Zoeller had the "discretion" to not appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
Impaired driving is no accident - nor is it a victimless crime. It's not easy to tell when you' ve had way too many, but even one too many means you shouldn't drive. Tragedies that result from alcohol-related crashes can be prevented if everyone exercised some simple precautions:
These suggestions can get you arrested for public intoxication.
- Plan ahead. If you expect to consume alcohol, designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;
- If you are impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;
|Senator Greg Taylor|