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Judges affirm retroactive application of amendments to blood draw statute

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Applying 2010 statutory amendments governing chemical tests for evidence of intoxication to a case of a man charged in 2009 with driving while intoxicated didn’t violate the prohibitions against ex post facto criminal sanctions, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.

Brett Boston on interlocutory appeal challenged the denial of his motion to suppress the results of his blood test following his arrest on suspicion of drunk driving in fall 2009. He was taken to a Hendricks County hospital where a phlebotomist took his blood. Boston challenged the blood draw claiming the phlebotomist wasn’t under the direction of or following protocol prepared by a doctor.

Boston argued the state didn’t satisfy the foundational requirements of the 2006 version of Indiana Code Section 9-30-6-6 that was in effect when he was arrested and that the trial court erred in relying on amendments made in 2010 to deny the motion to suppress.

The 2006 version of the statute included the term “certified phlebotomist.” That was eliminated, and the language that the “authorized person” determination doesn’t need to be made when a bodily substance sample is “taken at a licensed hospital” was added by the 2010 amendments deemed effective upon passage.

The judges agreed with the state that the 2010 amendments were remedial in nature and were motivated by strong and compelling reasons aimed at public safety and welfare. The General Assembly’s amendment clearly shows its acknowledgement that “blood draws which are performed in state-licensed hospitals observe and embody the ‘technical adherence’ to a physician’s directions or to a physician’s protocol required by our evidentiary rules for the admission of blood test results,” wrote Judge Carr Darden in Brett Boston v. State of Indiana, No. 32A01-1008-CR-421.

The appellate court also held that the retroactive application of the remedial 2010 amendments didn’t violate constitutional prohibitions against ex post facto criminal sanctions. Retroactive application of the amendments doesn’t enlarge Boston’s punishment or change the elements of his crime, Judge Darden noted.

Boston also failed in his argument that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress because the state failed to establish a proper foundation. In finding the amendments may be properly applied to Boston’s claim, he can’t demonstrate that the phlebotomist didn’t satisfy the foundational requirements of the statute.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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