Attorneys Matt Kroes and Zac Bailey recently discussed DUI / OVWI charges in Indiana that do not involve alcohol. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of their conversation.
We get calls all the time pertaining to DUIs that don’t involve alcohol. For example, people will say, Hey, I’m charged with a DUI, but I didn’t have anything to drink.
So, Zac, what do you say to these people? What’s going on here?
People hear the word intoxicated and associate it with alcohol, but that’s not always the case. The Indiana Code defines intoxicated as being under the influence of
- a controlled substance,
- any drug other than alcohol or a controlled substance,
- any combination of alcohol, controlled substances, or drugs, or
- any other substance, not including food and food ingredients, tobacco, or a dietary supplement, that can create an impaired condition of thought, action, and the loss of normal control of an individual’s faculties.
Basically, that means just about anything out there can be an intoxicant if you take enough of it.
Yes, alcohol is absolutely an intoxicating substance. Intoxicating substances also include legal drugs or even prescribed drugs.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be intoxicated to get a DUI. The presence of these substances in your system is enough for the State to charge you. You can be charged with operating with a controlled substance in your blood or operating with an alcohol concentration greater than 0.08 or greater than 0.15, depending on how much alcohol is in your system.
One of the trickiest questions we get is something like, I spent the weekend in Vegas a week ago and maybe I indulged myself a little bit. If I’m in an accident back in Indiana, what is the State going to do about certain substances that may be detectable in my blood?
Indiana can still charge you with a DUI based on inactive metabolites in your system. So, yes, last week’s fun in the Wild West can definitely cause you problems tomorrow.
The good news is, there are certain defenses to these types of charges. Give us a call and we can talk about how your case stacks up.
If you or anyone you know is charged with a DUI, especially if it involves drugs, give us a call at 317 620-5813 and remember—always plead the 5th!