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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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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