Crime Watch 8

Center Township constable fights to stay in office after more DUI charges

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Lance Stephens was appointed the Center Township constable in Marion County in June 2020, a short time after the elected constable, Mark “Tony” Duncan, died.

Stephens was pulled over earlier this year in Fishers and was charged with driving under the influence, according to court records obtained by I-Team 8. Of the four charges he is facing, two are felonies, and, if convicted, he would be forced to resign. In Indiana, constables have full law enforcement powers.

According to court records, Stephens was pulled over in Fishers at 1:30 a.m. April 11 near 116th Street and Interstate 69. The cops say they stopped Stephens for running a stoplight, speeding, and an unsafe lane change.

The officer who pulled over Stephens reported smelling alcohol and seeing Stephens’ red and watery eyes. Once Stephens was out of the car, his balance was poor; he failed parts of the field sobriety test. A preliminary breath test registered 0.102 blood-alcohol concentration; in Indiana, as in most other states, the legal level of alcohol consumption 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration.

A few hours later, his blood-alcohol concentration was 0.082.

Stephens is charged with two misdemeanors and two felonies, and is scheduled to appear in a Hamilton County court in Noblesville in December.

The felonies out of Hamilton County are the result of a prior conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated charge in August 2016. Under Indiana law, two charges of driving under the influence in a seven-year period lead to felonies.

According to court records obtained by I-Team 8, Stephens at 1:20 a.m. Aug. 14, 2016, stopped his Lexus in the middle of Thompson Road in Indianapolis and parked. Police and medics were called to check on him in the stopped car. According to to court records, Stephens smelled of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet and, while he was talking to police, vomited. 

Stephens pleaded guilty, paid the fines and was put on probation for a year.

Now, Stephens is attempting to have his first conviction overturned, technically called post-conviction relief. If successful, the felony charges in Fishers could go away, and Stephens would be allowed to stay in office.

I-Team 8 called Stephens’ office; he has not returned the call. I-Team 8 also called his lawyer in Hamilton County; again, no response. I-Team 8 also made several attempts to contact Stephens, leaving messages in other ways and, by Wednesday afternoon, he had not responded to the messages.

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