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Each year, millions of Americans get behind the wheel after drinking too much alcohol.

About one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver. From 2003 thru 2012, more than 2,000 people were killed in car crashes involving a drunk driver in Indiana.

District 48 State Senator Mark Messmer of Jasper says thanks to efforts by local and state lawmakers, the rates of drunk driving and alcohol-related fatal crashes have decreased in recent years.

Messmer says this past session, the Indiana General Assembly passed Senate Enrolled Act 142, which increases penalties for operating while intoxicated in certain situations.

Messmer says under the previous law, a person convicted of killing someone while driving drunk could serve as little as one year or up to a maximum of six years. He says With this new law, the minimum sentence is two years, and the maximum sentence is 12 years.


Messmer says lawmakers hope this law will save Hoosier lives by making people think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking.

As always, feel free to contact Messmer’s office directly with any questions and concerns by email at or by phone at 800-382-9467.

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