The latest figures from Mothers Against Drunk Driving show that driving under the influence is to blame for about 28 percent of traffic deaths in Indiana.
In the past five years, DUIs are also responsible for more than a thousand fatalities in the Hoosier State, ranking Indiana 16th among states when it comes to lives lost to drunk driving.
Apart from the personal toll, Indianapolis defense attorney Jeff Mendes says DUIs are often costly for the accused.
“Ninety-nine percent of the people who are convicted of this crime are placed on probation for one year,” Mendes says. “While on probation you have to probation user fees and other fees associated with probation.”
Mendes says after adding up court costs, attorney fees and heavy fines, DUIs often end up costing clients anywhere from $7,500 to $10,000. Mendes says auto insurance rates also double for at least three years.
Recidivism rates are also notable, Mendes says. He also about a quarter of his DUI clients drive drunk again. Mendes says since lawmakers lowered the state’s legal alcohol limit from .10 to .08 percent, DUIs have trended upward.