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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. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  2. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  4. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

  5. They ruled there is no absolute right to keep a license, whether it be for a lifetime or a short period of time. So with that being said, this state taught me at the age of 15 how to obtain that license. I am actually doing something that I was taught to do, I'm not breaking the law breaking the rules and according to the Interstate Compact the National Interstate Compact...driving while suspended is a minor offense. So, do with that what you will..Indiana sucks when it comes to the driving laws, they really and truly need to reevaluate their priorities and honestly put the good of the community first... I mean, what's more important the pedophile drug dealer or wasting time and money to keep us off the streets?

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