Print

News >> Browse Articles >> Law Enforcement News

-13

DUI Charge Dropped Against Officer Involved in Fatal Crash

DUI Charge Dropped Against Officer Involved in Fatal Crash

Associated Press

August 20, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS — A prosecutor said Thursday he is dropping drunken driving charges against an Indianapolis police officer accused in a crash that killed a motorcyclist because the officer’s blood test wasn’t properly obtained.

“We do not believe it’s admissible,” Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said at a news conference, flanked by the city’s police chief and public safety director.

Officer David Bisard still faces three felony charges stemming from the Aug. 6 crash, including one count of reckless homicide. Brizzi said he was confident Bisard could be prosecuted on those charges without the blood test.

Brizzi said the blood test showing Bisard had a blood-alcohol content more than twice Indiana’s legal limit could not be used as evidence because it wasn’t taken in a hospital by someone legally certified to do so, which is required by state law. Instead, a lab technician drew Bisard’s blood at a clinic where officers generally are taken after they are injured, he said.

“There is no way that blood test is coming into evidence, the way it was collected,” Brizzi said.

Bisard’s attorney, John Kautzman, commended Brizzi for “coming forward early with the candid admission” that the blood test was not done properly.

“Obviously, the failure to follow the appropriate standards and protocols meant that the blood draw result obtained was no longer reliable,” Kautzman said in a statement.

Hours earlier, Marion Superior Court Judge Grant Hawkins ruled there was no probable cause to suspend Bisard’s driver’s license because officers at the accident scene didn’t suspect he was drunk before asking him to consent to the blood test.


Brizzi said he has doubts whether officers trained to recognize signs of intoxication wouldn’t have realized the 36-year-old canine officer was drunk. Asked if he still believed officers hadn’t realized Bisard had been drinking, Chief Paul Ciesielski said only that it would be looked into.

Bisard’s cruiser crashed into two motorcycles stopped at an intersection, killing one man and injuring two other people. A test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. Police said Bisard’s car had its lights and sirens on.

Officers at the scene did not give Bisard a breath test, and his blood was drawn more than two hours after the crash. Prosecutors informed officials of the test results Aug. 9 and he was charged Aug. 11.

Public Safety Director Frank Straub said Thursday he had asked the FBI to help the city’s professional standards division look into the handling of the case. He also said the officer in charge of the multi-agency team that investigates fatal alcohol-related crashes in Indianapolis was being relieved of duty.

“We are embarrassed,” he said. “We failed.”

But Straub denied accusations investigators showed Bisard favoritism.

“There was absolutely no deference given to this officer,” he said.

Eric Wells, 30, was killed in the crash and the other motorcycle’s driver and passenger, Kurt Weekly, 44, and Mary Mills, 47, were seriously injured.

Ciesielski has suspended Bisard without pay and is seeking to have him fired.


-13
  • 2906singleoperator250pwm_max50

    JoCoSo_L39

    almost 4 years ago

    86 Comments

    I don't know this for fact, however I'm fairly sure the department did indeed have State Police take the Investigation over. That is SOP at most agencies.

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    almost 4 years ago

    11194 Comments

    I hope he gets the help he needs, after he's tried and convicted. Too bad he didn't come forward on his own before this tragedy happened .......

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50

    CAZ

    almost 4 years ago

    1428 Comments

    Drunk on Duty how stupid. Everything this person could have or did do as an Officer means nothing now because he is no different than any other Subject.

  • 1226772322_l_max50

    Angelonthewall

    almost 4 years ago

    710 Comments

    Why won't the dept call in the state troopers to do an impartial investigation? Isn't that standard procedure? Especially with the officer's history of accidents while on duty? I'm not outright condeming the officer but I would think it would clear the department of any suspicions of coverup.

  • Ba_old_glory_max50

    Jonas

    almost 4 years ago

    42238 Comments

    also bump robocop33 and BrooklynHillscop. I also have the same verb and pronoun for johndoe5. It's a good thing he goes by john doe.

  • Memorialbadge_max50

    MAYES969

    almost 4 years ago

    3608 Comments

    The workman’s compensation policy of the agency and the occupational safety and health administration require that any employee, much less a law enforcement officer, be drug and alcohol tested after a workplace injury had occurred.

    This officer was not suspected at the scene of being intoxicated, so he was transported to the agencies normal medical facility for workplace injuries. That medical facility conducted the usual workplace drug and alcohol test, not one being conducted as an investigation for suspicion of driving under the influence. In doing so, they did not conduct the test in compliance with the DUI laws of the state of Indiana, thus rendering the test as inadmissible as evidence. When the results came back, it was after the 2 hour window and probably violated several other applicable rules of the DUI investigation process to obtain an additional sample. The prosecutor had no choice but to drop the charge.

    Criminals get charges dropped all the time due to technicalities, yet the leo bashers here on PL get upset if a leo has a charge dropped. Well let me extend an olive branch… the charge of DUI is not the most serious charge, and since they will run the sentences concurrent with the charge of involuntary manslaughter, he will not benefit from this except that his license will not be suspended.

    I do not now, nor will I ever believe that any sworn law enforcement officer would have put his career and reputation on the line to protect another officer who so recklessly endangered the public. The symptoms of DUI can be similar to the symptoms of a head injury, and in the absence of any odor of alcohol, it would be easy to overlooked when you are not looking for it.

    Whatever is going on in this officers life that makes him need to self medicate with alcohol, just keep in mind that under that uniform he is a human being just like the rest of us.

    My heart and prayers go out to the family of the victims.

  • Img00039_max50

    bfriskey

    almost 4 years ago

    980 Comments

    And we wonder why families sue ....??????

  • Phone_pics_035_max50

    cgregor12

    almost 4 years ago

    3026 Comments

    Flying code 3 drunk? What was this moron thinking? Just another thing the bleeding heart liberals have to grab onto and run with.

  • 2906singleoperator250pwm_max50

    JoCoSo_L39

    almost 4 years ago

    86 Comments

    JohnDoe 6 is no more a Cop than Bruce Willis is! If he was he would not make such and ignorant comment, he is obviously clueless! With that being said whos gives a damm how his blood was obtained. Bottom line is he had a BAC of .19 while running Code in a marked Patrol car and he killed a guy. I dnt care if he had a bloody nose and they swabbed it with a Q tip, he needs to be held accountable for his actions and he will be!

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max160_max50

    Sheepdog267

    almost 4 years ago

    1530 Comments

    What Robocop33 and BrooklyHillscop said. Also, johndoe5 - I have two words for you: a verb and a pronoun.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    tatorhead

    almost 4 years ago

    106 Comments

    JUST DO THE RIGHT THING

  • Img_0103_max50

    LAWMANTUKES

    almost 4 years ago

    6976 Comments

    Well our justice system has spoken. Good luck to you Officer $hitbird....

  • M_a6d52838fcaf76871a3f162b66e0b424_max600_max50

    recon2819

    almost 4 years ago

    254 Comments

    johndoe5..get a life..unless you are a LEO, go cry to the bleeding heart liberals, and get off of this site.

  • Thinker_max50

    darsavmo

    almost 4 years ago

    11356 Comments

    If he is guilty of a crime he needs to be prosecuted and pay the piper. If the collection of his blood was improper, an investigation needs to be conducted and if charges are warranted they need to be filed.

    Bottom line is whether this was a legitmate mistake or not, it now casts doubt and creates credability issues on the LE Brotherhood and the ability to police our own...

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    almost 4 years ago

    19382 Comments

    Officer Bisard still faces felony charges and a lost career. In the cruzer with lights and siren. Tragic.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

Star_max160_max160_max30
klamm143 posted in: "What has happened to my Police Link?", 4 minutes ago.
Star_max160_max160_max30
klamm143 posted in: "Community Policing", 8 minutes ago.
Star_max160_max160_max30
klamm143 posted in: "Policelink, What happened", 10 minutes ago.
Star_max160_max160_max30
klamm143 posted in: "Respecting Others", 13 minutes ago.
Blue_candle_holiday_memory_max30
IamQnMutha posted in: "Policelink, What happened", 15 minutes ago.