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Judges reject man’s Department of Toxicology claims

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of the motion by a man charged with drunken driving to exclude any evidence or testimony from the state Department of Toxicology. The court rejected his argument that there were no rules or regulations on the books regarding the newly created department.

The Indiana General Assembly changed the operating or controlling authority of the Department of Toxicology of the Indiana University School of Medicine to the state Department of Toxicology, effective July 1, 2011. Tanner Piotrowksi, who faces three misdemeanor OWI charges, sought to exclude any evidence from the state department. His argument was based on statute, saying that the state department had to create its own rules by July 1, 2012, and since it did not, there are no existing regulations regarding officer training or breath test machines. Any certificates of training or maintenance or calibration of machines dated after July 1, 2012, should not be considered, he claimed.

Piotrowski was charged in December 2012.

The trial court denied his motion to exclude based upon its interpretation of I.C. 10-20-2 and I.C. 10-20-2-7.

In Tanner Piotrowski v. State of Indiana, 46A03-1306-CR-222, the state argued that if the Legislature had intended for the state department to promulgate an entirely new set of rules, it would have expressly said so.

“After reviewing the relevant statutes, we find that the legislature intended Ind. Code § 10-20-2-7 to effectuate a transfer of control of the Department of Toxicology from the Indiana University School of Medicine to the State of Indiana,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote. “Although the legislature transferred rulemaking authority to the State, it did not specifically require the State to promulgate a new set of rules regarding breath testing and gave the State discretion to rely upon the rules previously in existence. Accordingly, we conclude that the court did not err when it denied Piotrowski’s Motion to Exclude.”
 

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  • Lab Reports for fair plea bargains
    November, 2014, I was charged with OWI/Endangering a person. I was not given a Breathalyzer test and the arresting officer did not believe that alcohol was in any way involved. I was self-overmedicated with prescription medications. I was taken to local hospital for blood draw to be sent to State Tox Lab. My attorney gave me a cookie-cutter plea which amounts to an ALCOHOL-related charge. Totally unacceptable!! HOW can I get my TOX report from the state lab???

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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