Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Was an IMPD Officer Smashed During High Speed Chase?

The Indianapolis Star reports:

An Indianapolis police officer tested at more than twice the level at which a driver in Indiana is considered legally drunk when he crashed his squad car into two motorcycles Friday, according to a victim's relative.

The accident killed one rider and critically injured two others.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Paul Ciesielski confirmed Tuesday that officer David Bisard tested positive for alcohol shortly after the crash that killed Eric Wells and injured Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly. Ciesielski and a spokeswoman with the Marion County prosecutor's office said additional details from the investigation will be released today.

IMPD officials declined to confirm Bisard's blood-alcohol level, but Wells' father said the family received word from the prosecutor's office that Bisard's blood-alcohol level tested at 0.19. Under Indiana law, a driver is presumed drunk at 0.08.
There are troubling things about this incident. Assuming the .19 test result is correct, which I'm not ready to concede at this point, that would be a serious drinker. People don't realize how much alcohol that has to be consumed to get to .19 (and supposedly he wasn't tested for two hours). Assuming four hours of drinking and a 190 pound man, it would take 13 beers to arrive at that level. (See Drink Wheel.) (This of course overlooks the fact that he also had two hours apparently of non-drinking before he was tested.) Most people though that test that high are consuming mixed drinks which, per drink, have more alcohol.

And to be .19 that late in the morning...astonishing.

One thing that is not clear from the article is whether Bisard was on duty or whether he was off-duty answering a call for assistance. Still if he was off-duty and had been drinking - drinking a lot apparently - then one would think he would not have answered the call for assistance.

I have never understood those people who seem oblivious to the fact they have been drinking. You sometimes see news reports of people driving 100 miles per hour on an interstate after a night of drinking. What is it with those people? How could they not know that driving that fast will flag the attention of law enforcement. If Bisard was at .19 shouldn't he have known not to engage in a high speed chase? I have never drank to the point where I didn't know I was drinking and needed to take precautions

Whatever facts come out, we can't forget that there are innocent victims who paid an awful price for what happened.


Had Enough Indy? said...

This is such a tragedy every way you look at it. And, if the police officer were drinking and responding to a call, it is mind numbing.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Monday, I had cause to think that a police officer who responded to a call in my neighborhood, was under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. I am glad that Ballard has promised to improve the leadership of IMPD. I feel so sorry for the victims that Bisard smashed into.