Thursday, August 19, 2010

Officer Bisard Keeps Driver's License; Prosecutor Brizzi Complains About Mishandling of the Case

You heard it here first. Okay, maybe not first. My prediction is that felony charges filed against IMPD Officer David Bisard for driving drunk and hitting and killing a motorcyclist. At best the prosecutor's office will get a misdemeanor conviction.

The Indianapolis Star reports today that Judge Grant Hawkins expressed doubt whether probable cause was sufficient to take the blood test which found his alcohol level at .19. Judge Hawkins ruled that because of doubts about the legality of the blood draw, Bisard could keep his license.

Meanwhile the Star reports that Prosecutor Carl Brizzi sharply criticized IMPD's handling of the case, in particular the failure of other officers to notice Bisard was intoxicated at the scene.

Without probable cause to do the blood draw, the blood test will end up being suppressed. While I never dealt with that issue when I clerked at the Court of Appeals, I did run across cases where several hours passed between the time of an accident and the motorist being tested for alcohol. The delay is often fatal in a prosecution for driving under the influence. The delay makes it tough to prove the motorist didn't drink after the accident or the motorists' BAC level didn't go impermissibly high until after the collision. Remember, the defendant doesn't have to prove anything...it's the prosecution's responsibility to show beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant was drunk at the time of the accident.

Yep, my bet is that Bisard walks away with, at best, a misdemeanor conviction and no time served.

12 comments:

Indy Student said...

But even if the alcohol related charges don't stick, one man is still dead, one is in a coma, and one is going to need several surgeries and probably extensive physical therapy. Even without alcohol, I find it hard to believe that the reckless driving charges won't stick.

On another note, I hope the city is stashing money away in a high interest account to pay for the inevitable civil suits that will follow.

Downtown Indy said...

Too bad we can't compell him to get 0.19% drunk and have a public assessment of his appearancein that state.

Maybe he did go on a bender after the wreck and was sober before that. No, not likely.

It will forever be a black eye for IMPD that their accident investigators 'didn't observe' his condition. I don't believe that, not for a second.

Downtown Indy said...

IS, isn't the city's liability limited to $700K by law? And that is probably covered by a liabiity insurance policy.

Jon said...

Under the heading of unbelievable; WTHR just announced that the blood test is inadmissible.

Southsider said...

From what I understand the blood draw is to be taken at a hospital by hospital personell and it wasn't. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38773884/ns/local_news-indianapolis_in/

Marycatherine Barton said...

Thanks for caring about the pain and agony suffered by Bisard's victims, caused by his , at the very least, recklessly speedily driving a government-owned vehicle, while acting as a government agent, Indy Student. I am glad to know that you talked to participants and other attendees of the rally and memorial for them, on Monument Circle, and will continue to develop contacts with the police and involved parties, re this horrible affair, that is not that which should be associated with Hoosiers.

Brizzonator said...

WOW, BRIZZI SHOULD HAVE SHOWN UP ON SCENE FOR AN EXPERT AT DETERMINING WHETHER SOMEONE IS INTOXICATED... FROM ALL I HAVE READ... GOLF CART INCIDENT AND ALL AND PARTY BOY/FRAT NIGHT LIFE AS REPORTED ON FOX59... HE COULD HAVE IDENTIFIED SOMEONE WITH A DRINKING PROBLEM...

A REAL DISSERVICE ON THE PART OF IMPD AND MCPO (EMPHASIS ADDED)... NO FINGER POINTING CARL...

Paul K. Ogden said...

IS,

You remove the alcohol from the equation, it's a police officer on an emergency run who had an accident. It's going to be hard to get reckless driving based on that.

Ben said...

Paul, if you were the Mayor, what would you do?

Downtown Indy said...

Paul,

I think you are wrong. The victims were not even moving, so the office would indeed appear to be reckless (and/or negligent), whether on an 'emergency run' or not.

And they have already established it was NOT an emergency run, just a routine warrant service.

Bill said...

Paul,
While they screwed up on the probable cause, he still consented to the blood test. Under the law, there has to be probable cause at the time of the incident to suspend the license. Since he consented to the test, its results can still be used at trial, but not as a basis for an initial suspension. This is the difference between the implied consent and automatic suspension.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Having guaged the amount of disgust that the citizens of Marion County feel for Bisard and his enablers, I have concluded that it is no wonder that his attorneys want to move his trial, outsider of our county.