It is arguably the biggest weekend of the year in our hometown. Not only does the whole world stop and watch the Indianapolis 500 (either in person or on TV), but we are all part of a three-day holiday weekend to honor our nation's fallen soldiers.
Of course, the weekend also includes lots of family, friends, cook-outs, road trips, parties, tailgating and other summer-launching activities. For some people, the good times will end on a sour note when police lights come on behind their vehicle and they get pulled over for drunken driving.
As you know, Indiana has tough laws against operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) and DUI (driving under the influence). No matter which acronym you prefer, a court can mete out harsh punishments that include jail time, significant fines and driver's license suspensions.
As is customary on Memorial Day weekend, city police forces, county sheriffs and state troopers all promise to be out and on the lookout for drunk drivers.
For those who make a mistake and have that one drink too many before they get out on the road, the price to pay can be steep. A first-time OWI in which the driver is tested with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of between .08 percent and .15 percent can mean p to 60 days behind bars. Add on to that a fine of up to $500.
For anyone who drives a vehicle with a BAC above .15 percent, the penalties are even stiffer. You can be sentenced to spend a full year in jail and your fine can be multiplied by a factor of 10.
With the stakes that high, it makes perfect sense for anyone accused of driving drunk or driving while high on drugs to contact a skilled lawyer experienced in DUI defense.