INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Even people with designated drivers could land in jail under an Indiana Supreme Court decision upholding a passenger's public intoxication conviction.

The court's 4-1 decision came in the case of an Indianapolis woman arrested in 2008. A state appeals court overturned her conviction, but the Supreme Court said it was valid because she admitted being drunk and cars traveling on public roads are considered public places.

State Sen. Michael Young told The Indianapolis Star he doesn't think the court was wrong in its decision, but the law should be changed. He said people who are drunk should have to be disruptive or dangerous before they can be arrested for public intoxication.

"I think it just shows that until we change the law, more innocent people are going to be made (into criminals)," the Indianapolis Republican said.

The Star reported the decision came in a case in which Indianapolis police stopped a vehicle because its license plate light was out and discovered the driver didn't have a valid license. When the passenger admitted she had been drinking, she was arrested for public intoxication.

Former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, whose office prosecuted the case, said he agreed with the Supreme Court's decision from a legal standpoint. But he would support a change in the law to protect those who act responsibly.

"You need to make some accommodations for people who are trying to do the right thing," he said.

Young has proposed changes to the public intoxication law that would require people to be disruptive or dangerous, as well as drunk, before they could be arrested and charged with public intoxication. His proposal cleared the Senate this year but died in the House. He said he hopes to offer a similar bill next year.


Information from: The Indianapolis Star,