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Tests not required to disprove arrestee intoxication

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In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s argument that the Indiana Code requires law enforcement personnel to evaluate if there could be other reasons a person is displaying signs of intoxication before arresting her for public intoxication.

Indiana Code 12-23-15-2 says, “An individual to be taken to the city lock-up or county jail shall be evaluated at the earliest possible time for nonalcoholic factors that may be contributing to the appearance of intoxication.”

Annette Pittman was arrested by police officer Ivalee Craney at a gas station on suspicion of public intoxication. Pittman appeared to be drunk and refused to leave the gas station after asked by employees.

Pittman argued on appeal that the state didn’t follow I.C. 12-23-15-2 and determine if some other reason could have caused her speech to be slurred, be unsteady on her feet, and to smell of alcohol. Pittman’s conviction is based solely on Craney’s observation of Pittman’s behavior and condition at the gas station.

The COA found no cases discussing the statute in question and Parker v. State, 530 N.E.2d 128 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998), which discusses the statute’s predecessor, only reflects that the provision does not compel the state to administer a chemical sobriety test or other test.

Pittman claimed the statute requires medical or scientific testing to rule out other causes of intoxication symptoms, but her argument would place a large burden on the state to disprove a subject’s behavior was caused by anything other than alcohol, the judges ruled.
 
“I.C. § 12-23-15-2 did not require Officer Craney, or other law enforcement personnel elsewhere, to perform an evaluation so thorough as to eliminate all other possible causes for each of the symptoms of alcoholic intoxication that Pittman exhibited,” Judge Ezra Friedlander wrote. “Although we can envision scenarios that would warrant further evaluation, including but not limited to those involving behavior reasonably suggestive of mental illness or dementia, this was not one of them. The dictates of I.C. § 12-23-15-2 were satisfied. This being Pittman’s only challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, the challenge fails.”

 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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