Indianapolis Woman Charged in Car Accident that Caused Construction Worker’s Death
On May 8, 2012, a construction worker was hit by a car while he was walking at a repaving project site on East 10th Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. His injuries were critical, and he unfortunately passed away the next morning.
The victim was doing everything right. He was on the job and was wearing a bright yellow safety vest. But the same cannot be said of the driver that caused the car accident. The 24-year old female was driving drunk and failed at least two sobriety tests administered at the crash scene. This would have been bad enough on its own, but it gets worse. Witnesses say she stopped briefly to check on the man, then got back in her car and drove away. She also had her young daughter in the car with her while she was driving drunk. When police found her, she gave them a false identity for herself and her child. All of this occurred while she should not have been driving at all because her license had been suspended.
All of these actions add up to a long list of charges including not stopping after a fatal accident, driving while intoxicated, driving with a minor in the car while intoxicated, giving a false identity and driving with a suspended license. Most people are familiar with the majority of these charges. But one may be a little more unknown – driving drunk with someone under the age of 18 in the car.
According to Indiana drunk driving laws, having a minor in the car with you while you are driving drunk raises the severity of the charge. A first-time offender may be charged with a misdemeanor and the minimum amount of jail time is five days or 180 hours of community service. If a minor was in the car, the charge is automatically upgraded to a class-D felony, and the minimum jail time jumps to 10 days or 360 hours of community service.
Why the difference? The charges are probably more severe because a minor is less likely to have a choice whether or not to get in a car with a drunk driver. A potential adult passenger can decide for themselves whether or not they want to risk riding with someone who has been using drugs or drinking, but if a child is told to get in the car by the adult they are with, they have to get in the car. This law also exists in Kentucky, but it only covers children who are younger than 12 years old.
While it seems ridiculous that this type of law has to exist to discourage people from driving drunk with children in their cars, obviously it happens. If you have older children who will be traveling with another driver, encourage them to contact you if they think the driver may be unfit to drive. If your child is involved in an accident, contact a Kentucky or Indiana car accident attorney such as Steve Frederick of Frederick, Clay and Adams for help.
Construction worker dies after being hit by car on Indianapolis’ Far-Eastside; indystar.com; May 9, 2012
DUI counts filed in crash that injured worker; indystar.com; May 9, 2012
Woman officially charged in connection with death of construction worker; Fox59; May 14, 2012