Don’t Be Fooled: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM

January 24, 2017 | Auto Accidents |

drinking-and-driving

Every driver on the road has the responsibility to be as safe as possible—both for their own sake and for the safety of everyone else on the road.

Drunk driving laws, known as operating while intoxicated (OWI) laws in Indiana, were put in place as a way to keep motorists and passengers safe. In fact, in 1939, Indiana became the first state to have a law setting a blood alcohol content (BAC) for drunk driving. Times have changed since then—the limit was 0.15%, much higher than today’s 0.08%, which was established in 2001—but that doesn’t change the fact that our state was a pioneer in road safety.

Get a Designated Driver

You should get a designated driver rather than try to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system. It can be tempting to not go through the trouble of trying to coordinate a ride, especially if you’ve only had one drink.

Other options include taking advantage of taxis or rideshare services.

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

People can often think that they are fine to drive if they’re “buzzed” and “not really drunk.”

The problem is that buzzed driving, or driving with a BAC of anywhere between 0.01% and 0.07%, is still dangerous. Drivers who are even minimally buzzed are often responsible for fatal accidents.

In Indiana, like in all other states, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The difference in levels of intoxication or impairment only determines the extent of the criminal penalties you receive for breaking the law.

OWI Criminal Penalties in Indiana

Criminal penalties can vary based on a number of factors. BAC level, the age of the driver or passengers, and the number or type of any prior OWI convictions can all play a role in what penalties are given to a buzzed driver. In some cases, a driver can have their license suspended or revoked. Jail time, fines, and community service can also be part of an OWI driver’s penalty. Here are some other hard rules to keep in mind:

  • Indiana and all other states have zero-tolerance laws. Anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 that has a BAC of 0.02% while on the road is considered impaired.
  • Commercial drivers are held to higher standards while they’re on the job. The BAC limit for these drivers is 0.04%.
  • All drivers have a limit of 0.08% to be considered impaired. Due to Indiana’s “per se” laws, no other evidence outside of the BAC reading is required to show that a driver is impaired. Even if the driver is “fine,” they can still be convicted of an OWI charge.
  • Implied consent is a part of Indiana’s OWI laws. While drivers have the option to refuse drug or alcohol tests, it opens them up to potentially getting their license revoked.

Contact an Automobile Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of an impaired driving accident, contact the Indianapolis Automobile Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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