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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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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