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Deputy’s lack of certification not an issue in suspension of license

August 26, 2014

A Shelby County man’s refusal to submit to a chemical test for alcohol intoxication voided his argument that his driving privileges should be reinstated because the arresting deputy was not qualified to administer the sobriety test.

Brandon Schulze was taken to jail and lost his license after he told Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy Ian Michael he would not take the chemical test.

Schulze then requested a hearing for Judicial Review of Probable Cause on Refusal of Chemical Test for Intoxication during which Michael testified he was not certified to operate the chemical testing machine at the local jail.

Using that admission, Schulze was able to convince the Shelby Superior Court that his driving privileges should be reinstated because the arresting officer could not perform the chemical test himself.

However, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed, finding the trial court erred in reinstating Schulze’s driving privileges in State of Indiana v. Brandon Scott Schulze, 73A01-1311-CR-471.

The panel pointed out that Ind. Code 9-30-6 does not require the arresting officer to be trained on how to administer the chemical test.

“Therefore Deputy Michael’s offer of a chemical test was not illusory simply because he was not qualified to administer such a test,” Judge Melissa May wrote for the court. “If Schulze had agreed to take the test, Deputy Michael could have found another officer at the jail who was certified to give a chemical test or could have transported Schulze to a hospital or other facility for the test. As Schulze refused to submit to a chemical test, there was not reason for Deputy Michael to find a qualified person or take Schulze to a qualified person.”

 
 

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