Indiana News

Bisard Case Led to Change in Law on Who Can Draw Blood Sample

Streamlined law took effect in July in wake of legal battle over IMPD officer

11/5/2013

 

Some of the issues which stretched the David Bisard case into a three-year legal marathon will be eliminated by a law passed this year in response to the case.

Then-Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi initially dropped drunken-driving charges against Bisard after concluding a technician who took the Indy Metro Police officer's blood at a clinic didn't meet state requirements. Brizzi's successor Terry Curry refiled the charges, and the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed the technician met legislators' intent. A jury on Tuesday convicted Bisard of three felony DUI counts and six other charges in the 2010 crash which killed motorcyclist Eric Wells.

The new law just says anyone with the "training, experience or education" to take blood can do it. Senate Criminal Law Chairman Michael Young (R-Indianapolis) says he doesn't even remember why stricter limits were included in the first place. He says the new language simplifies the law and brings it into line with the appeals court's ruling.

But Young says legislators may tweak the law again next year to require some form of certification, rather than allowing anyone to claim the necessary experience.

The law also includes a provision explicitly barring a police officer from taking another officer's sample. That wasn't an issue in the Bisard case, but Young says the controversy surrounding IMPD's handling of the blood after it was drawn prompted him to add that safeguard to the bill.

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