Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Court Of Appeals Says Bisard Blood Alcohol Evidence Admissible

There has been a major development in the Officer David Bisard case, who was initially charged with reckless homicide and drunk driving in the wake of a collision that left motorcyclist Eric Wells dead and two others seriously injured. Marion Co. Superior Court Judge Grant Hawkins had granted a motion to suppress the blood alcohol evidence that showed Officer Bisard was driving under the influence at the time of the fatal accident because the blood drawn from him was performed at an occupational clinic rather by a trained person under the supervision of a physician at a hospital as provided by a newly-enacted statute. Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Randy Shepard, acting as a senior judge, authored an opinion joined by two other court of appeals judges, ruled that Judge Hawkins erred in suppressing the admission of the blood alcohol evidence to support the drunk driving charges against Officer Bisard. Because the medical assistant who drew blood from Bisard in the presence of his attorney was "properly trained" and "performed the draw in a medically acceptable manner," the court found that the evidence was admissible, adopting a less strict interpretation of the newly-enacted statute than argued by Bisard's attorneys.

Former Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi had withdrawn the drunk driving charges when he first learned of the challenge by Bisard's attorneys that his blood had not been drawn for testing as provided by their strict interpretation of the statute. Incoming Prosecutor Terry Curry reversed that decision and reinstated the charges, but Judge Hawkins sided with Bisard's attorneys and ruled that the blood alcohol evidence was not admissible for purposes of proving the drunk driving charges but allowed the evidence for purposes of proving the reckless homicide charge filed by the prosecutor's office. As a consequence of today's ruling, the prosecutor's office can now reinstate the drunk driving charges against Bisard.

Hat tip to Indiana Law Blog, which has more on today's decision.

1 comment:

CircleCityScribe said...

Justice? -From the Court of Appeals?

-Somebody notify Ripley at "Believe it or Not!"