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Officer had probable cause to believe defendant drove while drunk

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man’s petition for judicial review involving his refusal to take a chemical test for intoxication. The judges found the evidence supported that the officer had probable cause that Paul Hassfurther drove his truck while intoxicated and that he knowingly refused to take the chemical test.

A 911 call led Oakland City Lieutenant Timothy Gaines to check out a report of a drunk driver who pulled into a gas station. The caller gave her name, described the truck, and followed it to the gas station. There, Gaines found the driver – Hassfurther – who admitted he had been driving the truck and he had drank the night before. Hassfurther showed signs of intoxication. He refused to take a portable breath test, to which Gaines informed Hassfurther that his license would be suspended for a year. Hassfurther then took that test and alcohol was detected in his system.

After arriving at jail, Gaines told Hassfurther his prior conviction for OWI would result in a two-year suspension if he refused to take the chemical test for intoxication. Hassfurther again refused, and he was later charged with OWI. The state alleged that he knowingly refused to take the chemical test.

He sought judicial review, arguing the officer didn’t have probable cause that he drove drunk, he wasn’t properly advised of his rights, and he didn’t knowingly refuse the chemical text for intoxication.

In Paul Hassfurther v. State of Indiana, 26A01-1208-CR-350, the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of judicial review. The evidence shows a concerned citizen called 911, Gaines saw Hassfurther display signs of intoxication, and he admitted to police he drove the truck and had been drinking. Gaines also advised Hassfurther several times that his license would be suspended if he refused to submit to the chemical test and told Hassfurther that a prior conviction for OWI would result in a two-year suspension.


 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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