IMPD Officer Charged in DUI Can Keep License
Hours before dismissal of four of seven charges, judge rules against suspension
The IMPD officer charged with drunken driving in a fatal crash can keep his license while the case is pending.
A DUI charge normally results in the automatic suspension of a driver's license. But the law requires police to have had probable cause to suspect drunken driving. In David Bisard's case, investigators say they didn't suspect Bisard of being drunk until a blood test came back showing a .19% blood-alcohol level, more than double the legal limit.
Three hours after the hearing, Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi announced that test is inadmissible anyway, and dismissed four of the seven charges against Bisard
Brizzi says the license ruling underscores what he'd already said are "serious concerns" about the handling of the investigation.
"Based on the results of the blood-alcohol test, if there are officers on the scene who are trained officers -- able to detect the odor, able to detect signs of intoxication, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, et cetera -- someone should have recognized that Officer Bisard was intoxicated," Brizzi says.
State law gives officers the right to give a blood test to any driver involved in an accident causing serious injury or death. But that law is in a different section of the Indiana Code from the law calling for license suspension, a loophole Brizzi says legislators should address.
Defense attorney John Kautzman declined comment after the license hearing, beyond saying he and Bisard are pleased with the decision.
Bisard returns to court October 29 for a pretrial conference. He's still charged with reckless homicide, a charge which requires that prosecutors prove his conduct went beyond mere negligence, but not that Bisard was impaired.