Crash team will investigate DUIs

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Kris Schubach/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis, Dec. 19 - "She affected so many lives." A giving spirit. "She was always trying to help." A loving mother, a life cut tragically short.

Ray Schultz is the father of Kristi Broughton. "Birthdays are tough. Christmases tough, we'll get through it."

The crash that killed 42-year-old Broughton happened more than a year ago when police say Aaron Rodriquez ran a stop light. Rodriguez' blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

Dr. Jeffrey Runge calls impaired driving "one of the most important issues facing every single community in America."

Thursday at the same south side intersection, Broughton's death stands as a reminder to drivers; and a call by federal, state and local leaders; for prevention.

"Arresting drunk drivers is not enough," says Dr. Runge. "They must go through the system."

Now when an accident happens that involves an impaired driver it will be investigated by a team of 21 officers from six agencies, the Fatal Alcohol Crash Team. Their job, according to Marion County's prosecutor-elect Carl Brizzi, is to "Aggressively detect, arrest and prosecute impaired and dangerous drivers."

The hope is that collecting evidence at the crash site gives prosecutors a better chance at convicting impaired drivers, keeping them off the streets.

Drunk drivers make up 33% of fatal crashes. But they cause 44% of crashes, meaning the majority of victims killed are innocent.

Victims like Kristi Broughton. "Kristi didn't have to figure out what her role in life was, she'd already discovered it," says Schultz. "And that was to be a servant. She was a servant to everyone and she would have liked this because it meant someone would have been helped."