One of the laws introduced at the start of 2013’s legislative session was Senate Bill 168. If it is passed, it could have a huge impact on drunk driving cases in our state. The bill was inspired by the case against Officer David Bisard.
It is a case that continues to twist and turn. On Aug. 6, 2010, Bisard crashed into three motorcyclists on his way to serve a warrant. Two were seriously injured and another was killed.
Was Officer Bisard drunk? Bisard’s blood was tested, and was found to be more than three times the legal limit, with a blood alcohol content of .19. The officer’s case was far from open and shut though, because the blood was taken at a medical clinic by a medical assistant. That was a violation of current Indiana law. State Sen. Randy Head wants that law changed.
“There is a technicality in the law that can benefit drunk drivers and we need to make the court about finding the truth and not about upholding technicalities that the legislature put in,” said Head.
Senator Head wrote Senate Bill 168. The law’s only change is that anyone, properly trained, can take a sample and have it used in court.
“What I am trying to do is take a situation that maybe was not as well thought out as it should have been and allow anyone who is trained to do the work that they are trained to do,” said Senator Head.
The officer is charged with DUI and reckless homicide, after the Indiana Supreme Court denied the request to have his blood thrown out as evidence.
“I felt from day one that we had very compelling arguments as to why the blood draw was appropriate, in spite of the ambiguity among the statutes, and at this point, the Court of Appeals has agreed,” said Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry.
Senator Head wants future cases to be more clear-cut. But the family of Eric Wells, the motorcyclist who was killed in the August accident, just wants the current case to move forward.
“It is there with you every day, the time does not help,” said Aaron Wells, Eric’s father. “You just want a time where you can heal.”
Bisard’s trial will not play out in Marion County, the case is moving to either the northern or southern part of the state. That decision will be made on Feb. 14. As for Senate Bill 168, it must be passed in either January or February of this year’s legislative session.
You can read Senate Bill 168 in its entirety online. To see Senate Bill 168 in its entirety, click on the link: http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2013/IN/IN0168.1.html