MADD study shows drunk drivers have likely offended before - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

MADD study shows drunk drivers have likely offended before

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INDIANAPOLIS -

If an officer arrests a driver for driving intoxicated, you might be surprised how many times that motorists has likely driven drunk before his first arrest.

Motorist Brenda Knight guesses "maybe 10 or 12" times.

But according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the average drunk driver drove intoxicated 80 times before their first arrest.

David Bisard is accused of driving drunk in his squad car, killing a motorcyclist in August 2010 and was arrested last week for another DUI. The MADD study raises questions how many times he may have driven drunk in and out of uniform before the fatal wreck almost three years ago.

It also raises questions about every other convicted drunk driver. Why does it take so long to catch that? And often, by then, it's too late.

Motorist Emmah Artino knows about that. Her best friend was hit by a drunk driver.

"Maybe it takes someone dying to give a wake up call," Emma said. "So they keep going 'til they get caught and even after that."

Driver Liz Steward says a drunk driver "killed my friend in high school, so it is a big deal."

"If they're gonna do it once, they're gonna do it again, 'til they get caught," Steward said.

For Knight, who first guessed 10 or 12 priors before the first DUI arrest, "a lot of people drive when they shouldn't, because they don't really believe they're impaired."

They're past the point of making a judgment.

"There's only so much law enforcement can do with the limited resources they have nowadays," Knight said.

In 2011, Indianapolis State Police made over 8,000 DUI arrests. They're cracking down, but Trooper Rich Myers with Indiana State Police says "the motoring public should be aware people like that are out there and if they see someone like that immediately call 911. Report where that is and get some law enforcement there to take care of the situation."

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