ILNews

Bisard asks Supreme Court to rule on blood-draw admissibility

IL Staff
October 19, 2012
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Attorneys for Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer David Bisard have asked the Indiana Supreme Court to determine whether blood evidence may be admitted in his drunken driving and reckless homicide trial. Bisard was charged after driving his police cruiser into three motorcyclists who were stopped at an intersection, killing one.

A blood draw at the scene after the crash concluded that Bisard had been driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit.

Bisard argues that the blood draw did not follow appropriate protocols, and the trial court ruled that I.C. 9-30-6-6 (2010) compelled suppressing the blood evidence for purposes of the DUI charges, but not for the reckless homicide count.

Five weeks ago, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court ruling in State of Indiana v. David Bisard, 49A04-1109-CR-459, and ordered that a blood draw taken from Bisard after the crash on Aug. 6, 2010, be admitted into evidence.

Senior Judge Randall Shepard wrote the unanimous 21-page decision  in which the appellate court found that the medical assistant who drew Bisard’s blood followed physician-approved protocols.

 “The issue presented is whether the trial court erred when it suppressed a blood test result for purpose of Title 9 charges (Driving While Intoxicated) but ruled the same blood test result admissible for purposes of Title 35 charges (Criminal Recklessness and Reckless Homicide),” the petition to transfer says. “In reversing the trial court’s suppression of the blood evidence, did the Court of Appeals reweigh the evidence, substitute its judgment for that of the trial court, significantly depart from accepted standards of review, and misinterpret existing precedent in a way that conflicts with existing appellate decisions?”

Bisard’s request for transfer to the Supreme Court also asks the justices to throw out the trial court determination that the blood draw was admissible for the reckless homicide count.


 

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  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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