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Indiana State Department of Toxicology

ISDT > General Information General Information

History of Indiana's Drunk Driving Laws:

1939: Indiana becomes the first state to enact a law setting a blood-alcohol level for drunk driving. (% 0.15 BAC).

1967: Indiana reduces the legal BAC to 0.10 and requires blood-alcohol tests.

1989: Judges are allowed to order ignition interlock devices on vehicles of convicted drunken drivers. The devices require an instant breath test before the vehicle will start.

1990: Bills to ban open alcoholic beverage containers in vehicles and to lower the legal blood-alcohol level for drunken driving to 0.08 are introduced but not approved.

1994: Open containers in the passenger area are made illegal if the driver has a blood-alcohol level of 0.0 or higher. Drivers are banned from drinking while driving.

1996: "Zero tolerance" is established for drivers younger than 21, making it illegal to drive with even a small amount of alcohol in the blood.

1997: Consecutive sentences are allowed for drunken drivers who kill more than one person in a crash.

1999: Indiana requires at least a five-day jail term or 30 days of community service for a second-time drunken-driving offender and at least 10 days in jail or 60 days of community service for a third-time drunken driver. An enhance penalty is created for someone with a BAC of 0.15 or higher.

2001: Law changed to lower the BAC for drunken driving to 0.08 from 0.10.