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Alcohol-Induced Crashes Trending Up In Marion County

Steve Wagner

Indianapolis Alcohol Fueled Crashes Hiked in 2016

In spite of Indiana ranking well for being home to low rates of drunk driving incidents, the 2016 Indiana Officer’s Standard Crash Report says otherwise for one specific municipality. Many Hoosiers may be shocked to review the drastic rise of alcohol infused crashes in Marion County since 2015, with county seat Indianapolis home to the majority of them.

Marion County Collision Overview

  • Total Collisions
    • 2012 - 29,021, 2013 - 28,749, 2014 - 30,416, 2015 - 34, 294, 2016 - 37,447
  • Fatalities
    • 2012 - 78, 2013 - 80, 2014 - 83, 2015 - 97, 2016 - 100
  • Motorcycle Collisions
    • 2012 - 490, 2013 - 418, 2014 - 419, 2015 - 397, 2016 - 417
  • Speed-Related Collisions
    • 2012 - 2,009, 2013 - 2,228, 2014 - 2,879, 2015 - 2,908, 2016 - 3,085
  • Alcohol-Impaired Collisions
    • 2012 - 608, 2013 - 534, 2014 - 500, 2015 - 500, 2016 - 686
  • Indianapolis Alcohol-Impaired Collisions
    • 2012 - 501, 2013 - 450, 2014 - 418, 2015 - 434, 2016 - 599

*Indiana Officer’s Standard Crash Report, 2016

Ensure Your Own Safety

With numbers reflected in the chart above, it is no question that those 599 Indianapolis drunk drivers contributed to the 30 vehicle accidents caused by alcohol impairment each day in the U.S. and the 178 people who were killed throughout Indiana because of drunk driving in 2016. Hoosiers need to ensure their own safety on the road by keeping the following safety tips in mind:

  • Drunk drivers often show signs of their impairment, including swerving or delayed reactions to conditions around them. You can avoid them by driving defensively and staying alert, observant of the drivers around you and never driving while distracted.
  • It’s not a good idea to follow a possibly impaired driver around, even if your intentions are good. Instead, call the police and provide the information you have about the drunk driver, then get away from the potentially deadly situation.
  • Wear a seat belt at all times. No matter how many precautions you may be taking, an accident is always a possibility. Seatbelts reduce your risk of serious injury significantly.

To sum those tips up, remember yourself to NEVER drink and drive or get in the car with a driver who has been drinking. It doesn’t take a lot for the effects of alcohol to impact decision making skills. In fact, a standard drink is equal to 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol. Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in:

  • 12-ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
  • 5-ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)
  • 1.5-ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)

If you plan to drink away from home and need transportation, designate a sober driver before you leave, hop in a cab, or use a ride sharing app like Uber or Lyft at the end of your night. No matter what the cost, it will be cheaper than a DUI or living your life knowing you took someone else’s.

Remember the consequences of driving drunk. If you have been in a crash and arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you will be handcuffed and taken to the police station. Your car and your person will be searched and the car will be towed at your expense. You will be asked to take a certified breath test. If you refuse, your license will automatically be suspended for one year via the implied consent law IC 9-30-6-1. If you take a breath test and it shows that your blood alcohol content is .08 percent or more, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 30 days. To be released from jail, bail will have to be posted depending on your accident circumstances.

Young Drivers Are At Greater Risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control, at all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of being involved in an alcohol related crash is greater for young people than for older people. And although drivers under the age of 21 represent a small portion of licensed drivers, teens and young drivers are responsible for 17 percent of fatal alcohol-related crashes.

There are several factors that can help keep young people safe from car crashes and prevent them from driving drunk. Most include parental involvement, the minimum legal drinking age, and Indiana’s zero tolerance laws. Following these cues can protect the lives of young drivers and everyone who shares the road with them.

  • Let your teen driver know not to drink and drive because the consequences can be deadly for themselves and others. Not even one drink is OK. Remind them to never get in a car with a friend who has been drinking.
  • Make sure your teen knows to wear a seat belt and drive without distractions like their phone or other electronics. Paying attention to these two factors could lessen the injuries or impact of a drunk driving accident.
  • Remind your teen of Indiana’s drunk driving laws and the consequences. The drinking age in Indiana is 21 and consumption of alcohol by anyone under 21 is illegal with no exceptions. Because underage drinkers cause a disproportionate number of alcohol-related auto fatalities, the standards are stricter and the penalties harsher for those under 21. Indiana has a “zero tolerance” policy for driving and alcohol use by those who are under 21 years old.
  • Create a code and encourage your teen to use their phone to text you to let you know they need your help but are worried about what friends may say. For example, your teen may text your pet’s name to you or write “I think I’m having a problem with my allergies, can you meet me here,” when they want to get out of a situation and not feel embarrassed. Remind them of the code often.

No Risk Drunk Driving Attorneys

If you or your family members were injured as the result of the poor decisions of a negligent driver who was drunk, the car accident attorneys at Wagner Reese can assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve and may need for medical care and to cover a loss of wages while injured. There is no risk, as we never collect any kind of fee unless your case is settled or won. Contact us today at (888) 204-8440 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.

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