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Indianapolis, Indiana Criminal Defense Blog

Points to remember about a DUI breath test and chemical test

Indiana drivers will likely be generally aware of how blood alcohol content level can lead to drunk driving charges and that law enforcement will use a breathalyzer or a blood test to determine the amount of alcohol in the driver's blood. But there are other aspects of the breath test that drivers should understand, particularly if they are arrested for operating under the influence and need to formulate a strong defense against the charges.

When a law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion that a driver was under the influence when there was a fatal accident or an accident with serious bodily injury, a portable breath test or chemical test will be offered to the driver. The officer will first offer the breath test. If the following circumstances occur after the breath test - they show the presence of alcohol; there is not an indication that the driver had consumed alcohol, but the officer has probable cause that the person is under the influence of another substance that resulted in intoxication; or the person commits breath test refusal - the officer will then offer a chemical test.

Radio host arrested as part of alleged Ponzi scheme

Due to the number of high-profile cases in which people have been arrested and convicted for taking part in them, the phrase Ponzi scheme is well-known to people in Indianapolis and across the U.S. There are numerous ways of facing allegations of taking part in these white collar crimes and those who are confronted with being part of a Ponzi scheme should be aware of the importance of formulating a strong defense from the start.

Famous people are frequently alleged to have been involved in these activities. This was evident with a recent arrest in which a prominent radio host in New York was arrested for stealing millions of dollars as part of the Ponzi scheme. The host, Craig Carton, is part of the "Boomer and Carton" radio program at WFAN with former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason. Mr. Esiason is not part of the allegations. Mr. Carton was placed under arrest after an investigation is said to have found that a business he was running in which concert tickets were bought and sold was fraudulent. Mr. Carton is said to have accrued substantial debts through gambling losses. The charges he faces include securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.

Two men face multiple offenses including drugged driving

Indiana drivers who are confronted with allegations of driving under the influence might find themselves facing multiple offenses if the circumstances warrant it. For example, being stopped for driving while intoxicated might lead to the officers searching the vehicle and alleging that other legal violations were being committed. This can result in penalties that go far beyond those that would generally accompany a DWI. Whether the case involves simple drunk driving or drunk driving and other charges, a conviction can cause long-term problems to a person's life and it is essential to lodge a strong defense.

Law enforcement pursued a pickup truck that was said to have been traveling at speeds of more than 100 mph. The incident occurred at around 7:30 p.m. When the vehicle stopped, officers smelled marijuana and conducted a search. They found the drug and a pistol on the passenger. He did not have a permit for the weapon. The two men, the driver age 32 and passenger age 31, were placed under arrest on several charges.

How to avoid an OWI after a sporting event

Whether your plans involve attending a college or pro football game or watching a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you want to make sure you stay safe throughout the festivities. One study performed by University of Minnesota researchers found that around 8 percent of people at sporting events end up with a blood alcohol content level of more than 0.08. 

You do not want the great memories from the game being tarnished due to an OWI arrest. While it is understandable you want to have fun, it is also a good idea to exercise precaution so that you do not put yourself in danger of getting arrested. Make sure any family members or friends you are going with abide by the same precautions. 

What are ignition interlock device violations in Indiana?

One of the penalties that can be assessed when an Indianan is convicted on drunk driving charges is to have an ignition interlock device placed on their vehicle. The basic premise of this device is for it to be installed on the vehicle the person owns or regularly operates. When it will be driven, the person will blow into the machine so it can determine the blood alcohol content level before the vehicle will start. It will also intermittently require that the driver blow into it to ensure that no alcohol was consumed in the interim. While it sounds simple, there are laws governing it and violations can result in other penalties.

If the person helps another person who is supposed to be using the ignition interlock device to start the vehicle by blowing into it so the vehicle will start, it is a Class A misdemeanor. This does not apply if the act is to maintain the machine and repair it or if the person who is under restriction does not drive the vehicle. If another person allows the driver who was under ignition interlock restriction to rent a vehicle or loans one to him or her that does not have the device, it is a Class A infraction. A person who is required to drive a vehicle with the ignition interlock device and drives another vehicle in an emergency must notify the court within 24 hours.

What is the Indiana law related to breath test refusal?

Indiana drivers who are stopped by law enforcement to investigate whether the driver is under the influence or who have been in an accident might be under the impression that they have the right to refuse to take a breath test. This is a mistake. It is important for drivers to understand the law for breath test refusal and when there can be charges related to it.

When the officer believes that a driver is under the influence, there will be an offer of a breath test or a chemical test if there was an accident with serious bodily injury or fatality. There will be a chemical test in the following circumstances: the results show the presence of alcohol; the results do not indicate there was alcohol but the officer believes that the person is under the influence of a drug or other substance; or the person refuses to take the portable breath test. The officer can offer more than one test, but all must be given within three hours of the accident. An unconscious person does not need to receive this offer.

Indiana radio personality arrested on drunk driving charges

Drunk driving charges in Indiana can happen to anyone and there are often headlines and significant attention paid to these incidents if it is a known personality who is charged. Regardless of who is arrested and charged with drunk driving, having a legal defense is imperative. This is especially true when it is someone known to the public. Even though the charges will not change based on that recognizable persona, there might be closer scrutiny on the situation.

A 29-year-old radio personality, Zachary Babb, has been charged with OWI and multiple offenses after an accident. The incident occurred at around 10:30 p.m. Mr. Babb was driving a 2016 Chevy Equinox the wrong way on a one-way street. He is said to have crashed into five parked cars. A victim in the accident is the chef/owner of several restaurants and establishments in the state. When law enforcement came to investigate, they found that Mr. Babb had the odor of alcohol on him. He was detained.

What are the penalties for first, second and third DUI charge?

Indiana drivers who are placed under arrest on a DUI charge will face various penalties depending on the circumstances. A person who is arrested for DUI on a second or third offense will face worsened charges. Knowing the penalties that accompany each charge is important when planning a defense. The penalties can include fines, a jail sentence, court fees, a driver's license suspension, and more.

For a first offense, a conviction can result in one year in jail. There will be a fine of up to $5,000. Court costs and fees can cost more than $300. The driver's license will be suspended for as long as two years. It is also possible that the driver will be put on probation and need to take part in a substance abuse education course. After a probationary period of 180 days when the person is only allowed to drive for his or her employment, there can be a driver's license suspension for 30 days. There could also be a victim impact panel, the need to take urine tests for drugs and alcohol, and other penalties with probation.

Commercial drivers and OWI

Your CDL is the key to your livelihood, so it is important to understand how Indiana's OWI laws can affect it. OWI laws for commercial drivers differ in some substantial ways from the general, more commonly known OWI rules.

Specifically, OWI standards for CDL holders include both lower thresholds for what the law deems intoxication and harsher penalties.

Firefighter arrested on drunk driving charges

People who are alleged to have been driving under the influence in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana need to be aware of the consequences they face if they are arrested and convicted. Law enforcement is constantly on the lookout for drivers who exhibit signs of intoxication. If there is an accident and it is believed to have been due to drunk driving, he or she will be tested to determine their blood alcohol content level and there will be an arrest if they are above the legal limit. This applies to everyone regardless of who they are and what they do for a living.

A vehicle that crashed into the woods led to the arrest of an off-duty firefighter. The incident happened at around 3 a.m. Officers pulled the vehicle over and asked the driver what happened. The man stated that he was not going to lie to the officers and had been drinking. He also said that he had been driving too fast, did not pay strict enough attention to the road, missed his turn and ran into the woods. He told them that he was uncertain if he had been driving the vehicle even though no one else was in the car. He was given a breath test and it came in at .159, which is almost double the legal limit. He was placed under arrest.