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Indianapolis Criminal Defense Law Blog

How do DUI laws differ for commercial drivers?

When it comes to remaining sober while operating a vehicle, Hoosiers know how to obey the law. According to a recent study, Indiana had one of the lowest rates of DUI arrests and incidents in 2017.

Everyone needs to remain cognizant of the law and avoid consuming alcohol before going on the road. While a DUI charge can be catastrophic for anyone, it is particularly dangerous for people who operate commercial vehicles, such as 18-wheelers. In addition to facing jail time and fines, commercial drivers may also lose their commercial licenses, preventing them from going back to their old jobs. Additionally, commercial drivers need to be aware that there are some key differences in the law when it comes to people who own a commercial driver's license.

3 reasons for teens to expunge their criminal records

Many teenagers end up making mistakes that haunt them for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, young people may not have to deal with the consequences of such crimes by seeking an expungement. By filling out the proper forms and seeking the assistance of an attorney, you can get your life back on track. 

Whether you have a DUI or a drug charge in your past, it may be possible for you to have the charge removed from your record. Lawyers refer to this process as expungement, and there are a number of ways a person will benefit throughout life. 

Are parents liable for a child's DUI?

Although Indiana has one of the lowest DUI rates in the country, there is still a sizable number of people who lose their lives each year as a result of drunk driving. In 2014, approximately 239 people died on Indiana roadways in alcohol-related crashes.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous for anyone, but it is particularly dangerous for people under the age of 21. A child can face numerous consequences, including everything from losing college scholarships to facing jail time. However, there are some circumstances where the parents can face penalties as well for the actions of the child. These situations have their limits, and a parent's liability ultimately comes down to specific circumstance. 

Can you face arrest with a BAC less than 0.08 percent?

Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is one of the most dangerous things you can do. According to data collected by Indiana's DMV, nearly a third of fatal car accidents are a result of people with a blood alcohol content level higher than 0.08 percent. 

0.08 percent is the legal limit in most states. While some advocacy groups have pushed for even lower limits, most lawmakers agree that 0.08 percent is the point where most people become too inebriated to safely operate a car. However, it is still possible for police to place you under arrest for DUI even if you have a BAC less than 0.08 percent but higher than 0.00 percent. 

Going over data on underage drunk driving

A fact sheet which was published by the State of Indiana draws attention to some of the consequences of underage drunk driving. For example, those accused of DUI in Indianapolis may face harsh financial penalties, a prison term, and the loss of their driving privileges. In fact, those under the age of 21 may have to pay a reinstatement fee and have their license suspended if they are charged with drunk driving.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated ten percent of teenagers in high school operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Moreover, research shows that drivers between 16 and 20 years old are far more likely to pass away in a motor vehicle wreck after they have been drinking in comparison to drivers in this age bracket who are sober.

Should we be skeptical of state crime labs?

It is true that sometimes art “imitates” life, but it is interesting how art may influence how we live and perceive things as well. A perfect example is the television crime drama franchise “CSI.” Because of how detectives and various forensic analysts were able to solve cases using trace amounts of seemingly undetectable evidence, people readily believed that state crime lab analysts were experts in their field, and that the results of lab testing were infallible.

Because of this, countless people have been convicted of crimes based on forensic evidence. This always begs the question, should crime labs always be trusted?

Do we want our police to be shaming suspects before trial?

When a young cosmetology student named Jaleel went to a house to style someone's hair, he happened to be there when police burst in and searched the place. Drugs were found on the premises, and Jaleel was caught up in the dragnet. Most of the charges against him were dropped before trial, and he was ultimately acquitted altogether. That didn't stop the arrest from nearly derailing his life.

Even though he actually had no connection with the drug activity, his family and cosmetology school found out about the arrest on the local police department's Facebook page. He was almost kicked out of school, and he was certainly humiliated.

First-of-its-kind opioid court opens to get addicts help sooner

Health officials in Buffalo, New York, blamed 300 deaths last year on opioid addictions. That's more than twice the number of deaths just two years before. Among the 300 were a young couple who had just entered drug court last spring. They didn't make their second appearance. The young woman's dad showed up instead with the news that his daughter and her boyfriend had passed away the night before.

"We have an epidemic on our hands," says the local district attorney. "And if that means coddling an individual who has a minor offense, who is not a career criminal, who's got a serious drug problem, then I'm guilty of coddling."

What happens when a teenager is caught drinking and driving?

Drinking and driving is a serious offense for anyone. In a report filed by the state of Indiana, over 4,000 DUIs were cited in 2015, which includes both misdemeanor and felony-level charges.

Any type of DUI charge should be fought against. It becomes particularly important when the person getting charged is younger than 21 years old. In these situations, a different set of laws is applied.

Protecting your CDL license

Having a commercial driver’s license places drivers under a great deal of responsibility. Not only are drivers handling a larger vehicle on the road, but there are many more federal and state laws to which they must adhere when driving. Some traffic offenses can lose drivers their license for which they have worked so hard. 

Even not-so-serious traffic offenses can earn points on the license. Drivers who earn more than 18 points in 2 years will have their license suspended. Points accrued driving a personal vehicle also count toward a CDL driver's total, so it is important to be cautious whenever on the road.

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Todd L. Sallee, Attorney at Law

155 East Market Street, Suite 450
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Phone: 317-643-5507
Fax: 317-630-4824
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