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Unfortunately, another person in Monroe County was injured by a drunk driver last Friday evening. The accident occurred at the intersection of S.R. 45 and Elwren Road when the drunk driver was unable to stop his vehicle in time and proceeded into the intersection, causing a collision with another vehicle. The driver ofthe other vehicle was taken to Bloomington Hospital, while the drunk driver was taken to jail.

After medical staff reported the smell of alcohol on Harden, Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Randy Jacobs conducted field sobriety tests, Thomas said. Harden failed them and was brought to Monroe County Jail.

His blood alcohol content was 0.11, police said.

Many people fail to realize that they are not just endangering themselves, but other people as well, when they drink too much and try to drive home. Depending on the person’s body weight, it often takes significantly less than one might expect to register 0.08 BAC, which is the legal limit.

Of course, people who are injured by drunk drivers are able to bring claims against the drunk driver and their insurance company for their medical expenses, lost wages and compensation for the injury itself, ofte called "pain & suffering." However, the injured party can also seek punitive damages from the drunk driver because Indiana law recognizes drunk driving as being a wilful, wanton and reckless act. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer, not necessarily to compensate the victim. Therefore, punitive damages are generally not covered by insurance. Also, Indiana law holds that any amount of punitive damges received is divided between the victim and the State of Indiana.

Bottom line, if you drink too much, it is far cheaper to just call a cab or have a friend take you home. Unfortunately, not everyone understands this and people are still being hurt because of it.

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