Youth Charged In Fatal DUI Crash Had Been Cited For Alcohol Before

By Anne Marshall

(JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind.) -- An 18-year-old southern Indiana woman charged with killing a 16-year-old classmate and injuring another while driving drunk had been in trouble for underage drinking less than two months ago. Paige Grable, a Providence High School senior, was cited in Clark County for illegal consumption, but later the charges were dismissed. And that has frustrated some parents. WAVE 3's Anne Marshall investigates.

On Saturday, October 14th, one bad decision forever changed three lives. But the decision to drink while underage was one 18-year-old Paige Grable had allegedly made before.

On August 19th a Clark County sheriff's deputy was called to a home on Utica Pike in Jeffersonville. A parent complained his son's party had been crashed by a group of teens who were drinking.

According to police, when they arrived at the party, up to 30 kids ran, but 10 stayed. One of them was 18-year-old Paige Grable.

All the teens tested positive for alcohol, registering anywhere from a .02 to .14.  All were cited for illegal consumption, a charge  that carries with it up to 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.
But later, the sheriff's office decided to dismiss the charges.

A spokesperson says they decided it would be unfair for only the ten who were caught to suffer the consequences.

"I'm not sure what brought this decision, it was up to the sheriff's discretion," says Lt. Rachael Lee.

"Police and parents have a responsibility to protect the community," says a member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Carolyn Sharf.

Sharf believes police did not fulfill their duty with the decision not to prosecute. She says while there is no way to go back in time, moving forward may have saved a lot of pain.

"Wouldn't it have been wonderful if something had happened to stop this event."

Grable, who police say registered a 0.16 blood alcohol level after Saturday's crash, promised to check into a drug rehab clinic in Minnesota after she was released on bond earlier this week.

Online Reporter: Anne Marshall

Online Producer: Michael Dever