Wednesday, June 29, 2011
A person who had lawfully consumed alcoholic beverages (two tall cans of beer) at her sister's house decided that she was too intoxicated to drive home. She asked her brother's friend for a ride. He agreed.
En route, the car was stopped because a license plate light was out. The driver did not have a valid license. The woman admitted to the police that she was too intoxicated to drive herself home.
She was charged and convicted of public intoxication. On appeal, she pressed a public policy defense that her conduct had been responsible and should not be considered criminal. The Indiana Supreme Court rejected the argument and affirmed the conviction.
Justice Rucker dissented and would overrule a prior case that held the inside of a car to be a public place for purposes of the public intoxication statute. He agreed with the appellant that she should not be convicted for doing the responsible thing. (Mike Frisch)