With the holidays comes increased traffic on our roadways and unfortunately, impaired drivers. As we gather with family and friends for Christmas and the New Year, let’s remember to keep each other and ourselves out of harm’s way.
Some alcohol-related incidents are completely preventable, so please remember there is never a reason to drink and drive. According to AAA, it is estimated there will be more than 107 million Americans traveling over the Christmas and New Year holidays. This is the highest estimate ever, and it is even more reason to do your part in keeping the roadways safe.
With more drivers expected in the coming weeks, the Indiana State Police will also be increasing patrols to identify aggressive and impaired drivers. Be sure to always confirm a designated driver before consuming alcohol. There are also various ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft that can help get you to your destination safely. There is no excuse for driving under the influence. We want all Hoosier motorists to be careful and alert behind the wheel.
College-aged students in Indiana need to be familiar with the Indiana Lifeline Law. To help save lives, the Indiana Lifeline Law protects minors who seek medical assistance in the case of an alcohol-related health emergency. Because underage drinking is illegal, some individuals do not seek help during emergencies for fear of getting in trouble with police. The Lifeline Law was established to provide protection for minors in these situations, encouraging them to contact help for their friends or even themselves.
The Indiana Lifeline Law provides immunity for certain alcohol-related offenses, like public intoxication, minor possession, minor consumption and minor transport to individuals who contact law enforcement seeking medical attention. Although underage drinking can be a destructive behavior, fear of legal repercussion should not prevent young Hoosiers from getting the medical help they need during an emergency.
To receive immunity from these offenses, individuals must provide their name and other relevant information to law enforcement officers, remain on the scene until law enforcement and medical assistance arrives, and cooperate with authorities. In the last five years, more than 40 lives have been saved because of the Lifeline Law. If you or someone you know is in trouble, I highly encourage you to take advantage of this resource and call or text 911.
I wish you and your families a merry Christmas and happy New Year. I look forward to what the new year will bring and for the start of the 2018 legislative session.
State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75,
which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.
A high-resolution photo of Bacon can be downloaded by clicking here.