Impaired Driver Crashes Through State Prison Gate

At approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday, the LaPorte County Dispatch Center received a call of a possible impaired driver on U.S. 421 in the Michigan City area.  Attempts to locate the vehicle, a silver Chevrolet Silverado, were initially unsuccessful.  Minutes later, the dispatch center received calls of a vehicle matching the Silverado’s description, had driven through the main gate of the Indiana State Prison.  The vehicle was eventually stopped, and the Indiana State Police were requested to the scene to investigate the incident.

During the crash investigation, Trooper King determined that the subject had consumed alcoholic beverages and field sobriety tests were conducted.  Later, a certified chemical test for intoxication was administered, with the driver registering .14% BAC (Blood Alcohol Content).  The driver, identified as Robert D. Merriman, 62, from Winamac, was incarcerated at the LaPorte County Jail.  He is preliminarily charged with the following:

  • Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (Endangering)- Class A Misdemeanor
  • Operating While Intoxicated- Class C Misdemeanor
  • Criminal Trespass- Class A Misdemeanor