Prosecutors say a recent change to Indiana law should fix loopholes in the state’s impaired driving statute.
The opioid crisis created a spike in people driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Indiana law says if you have a prescription, you can use that as a defense against operating while intoxicated charges. Chris Daniels is the traffic safety resource prosecutor with the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council. He says that defense was too broad.
“Under the way that Indiana law was written, it would seem that defense would still apply to them even though we have evidence that they are abusing that prescription,” Daniels says.
A recent change says the defense only applies if the person takes the prescribed amount of the drug.
Another loophole dealt with young drunk drivers. Indiana law creates increased penalties for a particularly high blood alcohol level. But those harsher penalties didn’t apply if the person was under 21. Daniels calls it an unintentional error and says lawmakers corrected it.