A woman in Indiana was responsible enough to request a ride from a sober driver after drinking at a party recently, and was arrested for being drunk in a vehicle anyway. The woman was at a friend’s house and drank two tall beers. When one of her friends who had not been drinking asked the woman to give him a ride to another friend’s house, she refused, on the grounds that she had been drinking, but the sober friend could drive both of them over to the other friend’s house.
Although the situation appears to be completely within the confines of the law, while en route to the other friend’s house, the driver was pulled over because the lights on his license plate were out. The police officer, upon seeing the slightly inebriated woman in the passenger’s side of the vehicle, arrested her for public intoxication, a Class B Misdemeanor in the State of Indiana.
The Supreme Court of Indiana recently determined that for purposes of the State statute regarding public intoxication, a person’s vehicle when stopped by a police officer does in fact qualify as a place of public resort. The woman’s attorney argues that she was adhering to the publicly accepted policy of refusing to drink and drive, and that to arrest this or any other person for being in a vehicle while intoxicated, even if not driving, violates her right to consume alcohol at all.
The judge dissented and determined that the woman should not suffer criminal penalty for the alleged “crime” for which she was arrested. If you are arrested for a crime, even for something that makes little to no sense like the woman in this article, contact an experienced advocate to help you see the options you have available to you. Glen Neeley is a Board Certified DUI Defense Attorney who has successfully won countless cases similar to this one for his clients, and looks forward to doing the same for you.