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  1. Are there any laws regarding the use of laser pointers?

  2. How far over the speed limit can I drive and still avoid a ticket?

  3. What is the Indiana Seat Belt law?

  4. What is the Indiana Child Restraint law?

  5. Do I need to wear a seat belt in a pickup truck or an SUV?

  6. What are the legal requirements for operating a moped (motorized bicycle)?

  7. What is considered a moped (motorized bicycle)?

  8. We live in the county and we have a neighbor that allows their dog to bark non-stop. Is there anything that can be done?

  9. How do I obtain a gun permit and where do I need to go to get it?

  10. How do I receive a copy of an accident report which was completed by an Decatur County Officer?

  11. What is the age limit for becoming a Corrections Officer or Patrol Officer?

  12. We live out of state and need to serve notice of a lawsuit to someone in Decatur County. What is the procedure and cost of having the Sheriff's Department serve civil papers?

  13. On occasions the Decatur County Commissioners declare a snow, ice, or other type of emergency, due to bad weather or disaster. What should this declaration mean to me?

  14. I am a collector of police shoulder patches.  How can I get a patch or lapel pin from the Decatur County Sheriff Department?

  15. I would like to know more about gun permits and whether my Indiana gun permit is good in another state?

  16. Can I place neon lights or other colored or sound activated flashing lights in, on, or under my vehicle?



Are there any laws regarding the use of laser pointers?

Indiana law (IC 35-47-5.4-1) says,

A person who knowingly or intentionally directs [the beam of a laser pointer] at a public safety officer without the consent of the public safety officer commits a Class B misdemeanor.

A Public Safety Officer is defined as:

  1. a state police officer;

  2. a state police motor carrier inspector (effective July 1, 2003)

  3. a county sheriff;

  4. a county police officer;

  5. a correctional officer;

  6. an excise police officer;

  7. a county police reserve officer;

  8. a city police officer;

  9. a city police reserve officer;

  10. a conservation enforcement officer;

  11. a town marshal;

  12. a deputy town marshal;

  13. a state university police officer appointed under IC 20-12-3.5

  14. a probation officer;

  15. a firefighter;

  16. an emergency medical technician; or

  17. a paramedic



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How far over the speed limit can I drive and still avoid a ticket?

Some people believe that the “Speed Limit” is a “Speed Suggestion.”   A Speed Limit is the maximum speed you should be traveling.  Incidentally, one of the most common causes of vehicle crashes is Unsafe Speed.  Therefore, if you travel over the Speed Limit you should be prepared to accept the consequences, whether in the form of a speeding ticket and/or the increased risk of a vehicle crash.



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What is the Indiana Seat Belt law?

What is the Indiana Child Restraint law?

IC 9-19-10
     Chapter 10. Passenger Restraint Systems
 

IC 9-19-10-1
Application of chapter
    
Sec. 1. This chapter does not apply to an occupant of a motor vehicle who meets any of the following conditions:
        (1) For medical reasons should not wear safety belts, provided the occupant has written documentation of the medical reasons from a physician.
        (2) Is a child required to be restrained by a child restraint system under IC 9-19-11.
        (3) Is traveling in a commercial or a United States Postal Service vehicle that makes frequent stops for the purpose of pickup or delivery of goods or services.
        (4) Is a rural carrier of the United States Postal Service and is operating a vehicle while serving a rural postal route.
        (5) Is a newspaper motor route carrier or newspaper bundle hauler who stops to make deliveries from a vehicle.
        (6) Is a driver examiner designated and appointed under IC 9-14-2-3 and is conducting an examination of an applicant for a permit or license under IC 9-24-10.
        (7) Is an occupant of a farm truck being used on a farm in connection with agricultural pursuits that are usual and normal to the farming operation, as set forth in IC 9-29-5-13(b)(2).
        (8) Is an occupant of a motor vehicle participating in a parade.
        (9) Is an occupant of the living quarters area of a recreational vehicle.
        (10) Is an occupant of the treatment area of an ambulance (as defined in IC 16-18-2-13).
        (11) Is an occupant of the sleeping area of a tractor.
        (12) Is an occupant other than the operator of a vehicle described in IC 9-20-11-1(1).
        (13) Is an occupant other than the operator of a truck on a construction site.
        (14) Is a passenger other than the operator in a cab of a Class A recovery vehicle or a Class B recovery vehicle who is being transported in the cab because the motor vehicle of the passenger is being towed by the recovery vehicle.
        (15) Is an occupant other than the operator of a motor vehicle being used by a public utility in an emergency as set forth in IC 9-20-6-5.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.7. Amended by P.L.67-2004, SEC.2; P.L.214-2007, SEC.6.
 

IC 9-19-10-2
Use of safety belt by motor vehicle occupants; safety belt standards
    
Sec. 2. Each occupant of a motor vehicle equipped with a safety belt that:
        (1) meets the standards stated in the Federal Motor Vehicle

Safety Standard Number 208 (49 CFR 571.208); and
        (2) is standard equipment installed by the manufacturer;
shall have a safety belt properly fastened about the occupant's body at all times when the vehicle is in forward motion.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.7. Amended by P.L.214-2007, SEC.7.
 

IC 9-19-10-2.5
Repealed
    
(Repealed by P.L.67-2004, SEC.14.)
 

IC 9-19-10-3
Repealed
    
(Repealed by P.L.214-2007, SEC.10.)
 

Stopping, inspecting, or detaining vehicle; checkpoints
    
Sec. 3.1. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a vehicle may be stopped to determine compliance with this chapter. However, a vehicle, the contents of a vehicle, the driver of a vehicle, or a passenger in a vehicle may not be inspected, searched, or detained solely because of a violation of this chapter.
    (b) A law enforcement agency may not use a safety belt checkpoint to detect and issue a citation for a person's failure to comply with this chapter.
As added by P.L.214-2007, SEC.8.
 

Educational programs
    
Sec. 4. The bureau, in cooperation with the Indiana department of transportation, division of traffic safety, shall develop and administer educational programs for the purpose of informing the general public of the benefits that will inure to passengers using safety belts.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.7.
 

IC 9-19-10-5
Retail sales, leases, trades, and transfers
    
Sec. 5. A person may not buy, sell, lease, trade, or transfer from or to Indiana residents at retail an automobile that is manufactured or assembled, commencing with the 1964 models, unless the automobile is equipped with safety belts installed for use in the front seat.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.7.
 

IC 9-19-10-6
Belt and installation specifications
    
Sec. 6. (a) A safety belt must be of a type and must be installed in a manner approved by the bureau.
    (b) The bureau shall establish specifications and requirements for approved types of safety belts and attachments to the safety belts.
    (c) The bureau shall accept, as approved, a seat belt installation

and the belt and anchor meeting the Society of Automotive Engineers' specifications.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.7.
 

IC 9-19-10-7
Failure to comply; fault; liability of insurer; mitigation of damages
    
Sec. 7. (a) Failure to comply with section 1, 2, 3.1(a), or 4 of this chapter does not constitute fault under IC 34-51-2 and does not limit the liability of an insurer.
    (b) Except as provided in subsection (c), evidence of the failure to comply with section 1, 2, 3.1(a), or 4 of this chapter may not be admitted in a civil action to mitigate damages.
    (c) Evidence of a failure to comply with this chapter may be admitted in a civil action as to mitigation of damages in a product liability action involving a motor vehicle restraint or supplemental restraint system. The defendant in such an action has the burden of proving noncompliance with this chapter and that compliance with this chapter would have reduced injuries, and the extent of the reduction.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.7. Amended by P.L.121-1993, SEC.1; P.L.1-1998, SEC.95; P.L.214-2007, SEC.9.
 

IC 9-19-10-8
Failure of front seat occupant to use belt; violation; classification; assessment of points
    
Sec. 8. (a) A person who:
        (1) is at least sixteen (16) years of age; and
        (2) violates section 2 of this chapter;
commits a Class D infraction.
    (b) The bureau may not assess points under the point system for Class D infractions under this section.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.7. Amended by P.L.57-1998, SEC.3; P.L.116-1998, SEC.3.
 

IC 9-19-10-9
Retail transfers of vehicles and belt and installation specifications; violation; classification
    
Sec. 9. A person who violates section 5 or 6 of this chapter commits a Class C infraction.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.7.


 

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Do I need to wear a seat belt in a pickup truck or an SUV?

Anyone in any vehicle is required to be in an approved restraint unless they fall within on of the legal exceptions under Indiana code 9-19-10-1.

The Decatur County Sheriff's Department supports the use of seat belts by truck and SUV users/owners.  We believe, based on our experiences as law enforcement officers and the investigation of traffic crashes, that persons are prudent to continue wearing seat belts, whether driving a passenger vehicle or a truck/SUV.  Remember, just because some safe action is not a law, does not mean it is not a good and prudent safe action to do.



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What are the legal requirements for operating a moped (motorized bicycle)?

Motorized bicycles; prohibitions on operation; conditions
    
Sec. 12. A motorized bicycle may not be operated under any of

the following conditions:
        (1) By a person less than fifteen (15) years of age.
        (2) By a person who has not obtained an identification card under IC 9-24, a permit under IC 9-24, an operator's license under IC 9-24, a chauffeur's license under IC 9-24, or a public passenger chauffeur's license under IC 9-24.
        (3) On an interstate highway or a sidewalk.
        (4) At a speed greater than twenty-five (25) miles per hour.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.9.
 

IC 9-21-11-13
Persons under 18 years of age; operation of motorized bicycle; safety equipment
    
Sec. 13. A person less than eighteen (18) years of age who operates or rides a motorized bicycle on a street or highway shall do the following:
        (1) Wear protective headgear meeting the minimum standards set by the bureau or a helmet that meets the standards established by the United States Department of Transportation under 49 CFR 571.218 in effect January 1, 1979.
        (2) Wear protective glasses, goggles, or a transparent face shield.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.9.
 

IC 9-21-11-14
Violations; Class C infraction
    
Sec. 14. A person who violates this chapter commits a Class C infraction.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.9.
 



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What is considered a moped (motorized bicycle)?

IC 9-13-2-109
Motorized bicycle
    
Sec. 109. "Motorized bicycle" means a two (2) or three (3) wheeled vehicle that is propelled by an internal combustion engine or a battery powered motor, and if powered by an internal combustion engine, has the following:
        (1) An engine rating of not more than two (2) horsepower and a cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty (50) cubic centimeters.
        (2) An automatic transmission.
        (3) A maximum design speed of not more than twenty-five (25) miles per hour on a flat surface.
The term does not include an electric personal assistive mobility device.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.143-2002, SEC.3.
 



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We live in the county and we have a neighbor that allows their dog to bark non-stop. Is there anything that can be done?

This situation can be very frustrating for the person listening to the constant barking. I would recommend you calmly and diplomatically speak to your neighbor, telling them that the continual barking is disturbing people in the neighborhood. If you gear your comments, in that the violating neighbor would most certainly not want others to be disturbed, and allow them to save face (infer the violating neighbor was not aware of the problem), the situation can often resolve itself. This opens communications between neighbors and keeps hard feelings from getting out of hand. (Think to yourself, if a neighbor had a problem with something you were doing, would you prefer they come to you and talk about it or call the police?)

However, this does not always work. Sometimes neighbors are already at odds with each other and the diplomatic approach is not an option. In this case you may need to call the Sheriff's Department. Keep in mind that if you call the police, this can create additional hard feelings by the violating neighbor, particularly if you have not tried the "talk-to-them-first" approach.

When you call the Dispatch Center (663-8125) do not merely call in an anonymous complaint. You may get further if you actually speak to an officer about the problem. The officers prefer to speak to the violating neighbor and provide information on the dog ordinance, giving the violating neighbor a warning. Generally, this corrects the problem.  

If the problem persists call the Sheriff's Department again. We will see if we can be of assistance trying to rectifying the situation.



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How do I obtain a gun permit and where do I need to go to get it?

Please visit our Concealed Weapon Page of this website by clicking here.



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How do I receive a copy of an accident report which was completed by an Decatur County Officer?

In Person:

A copy of an accident report can be purchased between the hours of 8am-4pm Monday-Friday at the Records Section of the Department.  The cost is $3.00 for the report. 

By Mail:  
A copy of an accident report can be purchased by mail by sending:
·a self-addressed, stamped envelope  
·a check for $3.00, payable to the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department  
·A written request for the accident report  
·The name of the driver involved, location, time of the crash, or the incident number provided to you by the investigating officer  
·Send to:  Records Section, Decatur County Sheriff’s Department, 315 South Ireland Street, Greensburg, IN 47240.

Sorry, we cannot accept phone orders, credit cards, or requests via e-mail at this time.




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What is the age limit for becoming a Corrections Officer or Patrol Officer?

There is a minimum age requirement of 18 years for Corrections Officer and 21 years for Patrol Officer.  There are no maximum age limits for either position.  In fact, we encourage mature individuals to apply for positions here at the Department.



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We live out of state and need to serve notice of a lawsuit to someone in Decatur County. What is the procedure and cost of having the Sheriff's Department serve civil papers?

1.  Send a check or money order for $13.00, payable to the Decatur County Sheriff's Department, and send it, along with information listed below, to the Decatur County Sheriff's Department, Attention:  Process Division, 315 South Ireland Street, Greensburg, IN 47240.

2.  Include information as to where and whom the paperwork needs to be
served, including any special instructions applicable to the situation.

3.  Include a copy of the paperwork to serve and a copy we can return back to you with the served information.

4.  If your state requires, include a return affidavit form for us to
complete and send back to you.  Otherwise, we will use our affidavit form.



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On occasions the Decatur County Commissioners declare a snow, ice, or other type of emergency, due to bad weather or disaster. What should this declaration mean to me?

During a severe blizzard, for example, the Decatur County Highway personnel may be unable to keep the roads open due to blowing and drifting snow.  Likewise, emergency response personnel are unable to respond to calls properly due to poor road conditions.  Thus, in extreme cases, the County Commissioners, under authority of state law, can declare an emergency and stipulate limitations to the people in the County.  Typically, this is in the form of limiting vehicular traffic, due to poor or blocked road conditions.  However, other limitations could be instituted in severe cases (e.g. curfew).   As a result, police officers may enforce this limitation by citing the violator.  This enforcement is usually done in extreme cases, and is at the discretion of the officer.  Besides the limitations imposed, the declaration of an emergency may provide for additional resources that can be used by the County during the emergency.  Additionally, State and Federal money may become available to offset the cost in dealing with and recovering from the disaster.  You should listen closely to local media to determine what is safe, legal, and any action your should take during an emergency declaration.  You should also know that an emergency declaration by a municipality does not necessarily mean the County has declared an emergency.  All County buildings, except for essential services (such as the Sheriff's Department), will close during a County declared emergency.  Keep in mind that other disasters, besides snow emergencies, may occur such as tornado, earthquake, airplane/jetliner crash, chemical hazard, criminal incident, or a need to evacuate your family due to a hazard, to name a few.  Keep disasters from becoming personal.  Emergency Preparedness... when you need it, you'll be glad you have it.



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I am a collector of police shoulder patches. How can I get a patch or lapel pin from the Decatur County Sheriff Department?

Send all Patch Inquiries to the Decatur County Sheriff Department.  We cannot guarantee that we will respond to every request, or guarantee a new patch if we can provide you with one. 



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I would like to know more about gun permits and whether my Indiana gun permit is good in another state?

For information click on this link



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Can I place neon lights or other colored or sound activated flashing lights in, on, or under my vehicle?

Neon, LED and other colored lights are eye-catching.  However, many vehicle owners are placing these colored lights on their vehicle without knowing the limitations of the law.  Essentially, blue, red, green and flashing lights have restrictions.  Underbody lights presents a dilemma that has not been fully defined by statute or case law.  It is clear when an unauthorized vehicle displays a light, such as red, green, or blue, which is directly visible from the front on hoods, windshield wipers and front license plate holders, the display is illegal.  However, the reflection of light, such as in Underbody Lights, is open to interpretation as of yet.  A good rule of thumb would be:  Is the (red, blue, green) light visible from the front of the vehicle?  If so, you are quite possibly in violation.   Here is what the law says:

  1. IC 36-8-12-11(d) says, "A person who is not a member of a volunteer fire department may not display a blue light of any size or shape on a motor vehicle."  This is pretty clear and is violated by many people displaying blue neon or other types of lights on their vehicles. 

  2. IC 9-21-7-10 says in part, "A person may not drive or move a vehicle or equipment upon a highway with a lamp or device on the vehicle or equipment displaying a red, red and white, or red and blue light visible from directly in front of the center of the vehicle or equipment."   IC 9-19-13-4.5 and 9-19-14-5.5 allow a funeral vehicle to have a red light and stipulates that unauthorized vehicles having any red and blue or red and white lamps on their vehicle "shall immediately remove" same.

  3. IC 9-21-7-11 says in part, "Except as provided [in the following section], a vehicle may not display flashing lights.  Flashing lights may be displayed on a vehicle as follows:  On an authorized emergency vehicle; on a school bus; on snow removal equipment; as a means of indicating a right or left turn; as a means of indicating the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care in approaching, overtaking, or passing."  Thus, the sound activated flashing lights would not be allowed.

  4. IC 9-19-14.5-1 states that only certified emergency medical technicians, certified emergency medical service drivers, certified emergency medical service first responders, while traveling in the line of duty, may display green lights on their vehicles.