Give Now

Two Alcohol Bills Set To Reach Governor’s Desk This Week

Opponents say loosening rules on drunkenness could lead to more of it.

Beer, alcohol

Photo: Aubrey Sun (Flickr)

The laws would change the rules regarding who could be charged in connection with public intoxication.

The legislature already passed the so-called Indiana Lifeline Bill that would grant immunity to those who call an ambulance or the authorities on behalf of someone who has had too much to drink. The second piece of legislation would keep individuals from being convicted of public intoxication unless they are endangering their own life, someone else’s life or are causing a disturbance.

Bloomington Representative Matt Pierce is on the conference committee tasked with reconciling the House and Senate versions of the bill. He says it should help keep drunk drivers off the road.

“Under current law if you’re basically intoxicated—you’re drunk—and you get in your car and drive and you are arrested for drunk driving, you actually face a lesser penalty than if you decide to walk home and you’re arrested for public intoxication,” Pierce says.

Director of the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking Lisa Hutcheson says she worries law enforcement will not decide someone is causing a disturbance until it is too late. And, she says, it could have unintended consequences.

“There are young people who are going to see that. There are families who are going to see that. You know, young children. I think that starts to really normalize that behavior,” Hutcheson says.

Pierce says the legislation puts Indiana in line with the legal code of 45 other states.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Politics Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook