Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This just keeps getting better...

The TeeWee news this morning interviewed someone who was at the scene when IMPD officer Bisard decided to play drunken bumper cars with his cruiser. The gentleman being interviewed, whose car had been struck by one of the motorcycles Bisard sent flying, shared a wonderful new tidbit of information:
Griffith says the ... officers asked him to submit a breath test.

"They just want to make sure everyone at the scene was not intoxicated and it's standard procedure," he said.
Apparently standard procedure for everybody at the scene except the actual, you know, drunk driver himself, provided his car has the right paint job. Good work, men.

Oh, yeah: Fire Frank Straub.

17 comments:

Sarah said...

"Good for thee but not for me" comes to mind.

Maybe IMPD can come up with a new policy. Before every shift, run officers through the CS-gas chamber without their masks. That should sober 'em right up if they've come to work after downing a few.

Anonymous said...

I predict fine officer Bisard will walk this off (probobly not in a straight line) and be reinstated before this is over. Next thing Iexpect to hear is this was way overblown. Or accident, what accident?

Matt G said...

Oof. I'm going to be sick.
Did he submit?

Tam said...

I am not certain; it seemed to be implied on the TeeWee that he had.

Stuart the Viking said...

The law up there in Indiana might be differant, but I'm pretty sure most places I have ever lived if the guy refused they would have just cuffed him and charged him with DUI for refusing to take the test. Every DL I have ever had included a statement like "Operation of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law." (exact wording off the front of my Florida DL) on it somewhere, and laws stating that refusing the test is an automatic conviction. Fair? Probably not, but it's there and the officers involved seem to be the types that would take advantage of it.

I'm just wondering if what they were doing was looking for a scapegoat.

s

Jenny said...

Straubo delenda est?

:)

Moriarty said...

I have a feeling that there are some civil actions coming down the pike that are going to cause more than a few nosebleeds.

Stuart,

My driver's license doesn't mandate a sobriety test per se, but consent to a blood alcohol determination is implied.

Remember, field sobriety tests exist for the sole purpose of creating and furthering probable cause. My ambulance-chaser brother routinely advised his clients to never submit to one.

Stuart the Viking said...

Hmmm... I was under the impression that he was asked to take a BREATH test, not a field subriety test.

No offence to your brother intended, and for all I know in your locality refusing a field sobriety test might actually BE a good idea, but over the years I have heard some rediculous things come from the mouths of lawyers.

We have all heard the old "drag the guy into the house" crap, and yes, there are STILL lawyers that spew that.

I also recently heard a lawyer give the advice that if you wreck your car while drunk, while waiting for the police, sit along the side of the road drinking beer and be sure that you save one so that you can be drinking it when the cops arive. Then, just tell the officer you were so shook up by the accident that you had to have a beer or two. Supposedly, since there is no way for him to prove that you were actually drunk when you had the accident (as opposed to getting drunk AFTER the accident), he won't be able to charge you with anything.

I would hope that this is bad advice.

s

Tam said...

Jenny,

"Straubo delenda est?"

Sic. ;)

Anonymous said...

On refusing the BAL. Refuse the BAL loose your license for 1 year. If one knows they won't pass any way it is best not to volonteer evidence against yourself. If one is sober you can take your chances that the meeter is straight. (Sourse was drunk at the time)

Moriarty said...

Stuart,

"[A]ny sobriety test required by law" would seem to include a field sobriety test, if so "required." Generally, however, someone is offered a choice of other means, some more definitive than others.

Not being a lawyer, I have no idea what constitutes good or bad legal advice. (And my brother's dead, so there's no way you could offend him ;-) I do know that he had a fairly successful career in criminal defense law and I can only report what he told me.

Most jurisdictions allow either breath tests or blood alcohol determinations, the latter generally being considered more accurate. (He also mentioned that if you're accused of DUI, you should demand that two tubes be drawn, one to be kept in the custody of the lab, in case the po-po might "lose" or "misinterpret" your lab results.)

The cops I know vary a lot in their opinions but seem clear on at least one thing: If you're suspected of a crime, STFU immediately, do not consent to anything so much as resembling a search and call your lawyer. Most people who are convicted of crimes, rightly or wrongly, actively assisted in that end.

Moriarty said...

BTW, and to be clear: "Do not consent" is not the same thing as "refuse to cooperate."

Wolfwood said...

If I were stopped and I believed that I was over the limit, I'd absolutely, but politely, refuse any of the field sobriety tests, including the portable breath test. Losing my license on a Refusal of Implied Consent for however many months my state says is preferable to getting the DUI, where I'd lose it for that period anyway. Keep in mind that it takes about an hour from traffic stop to the official test at the station house. Consider how much your BAC may go down (and if it will be going down; if you just did a shot or two before driving, it may still be going UP!) based on your body weight and your sex. Evaluate for yourself, if you were the officer, if you would pursue a marginal case based on BAC and external signs.

I can also say that in having watched numerous DUIs in court in my state, I have yet to see a prosecution solely for Refusal without a DUI charge attached, and I have often seen a Refusal charge nolle prossed if the defendant pleads to the DUI charge (and any defendant should evaluate for himself whether he benefits more from forcing the prosecution to make its case or from showing remorse and throwing himself on the mercy of the court).

None of this, of course, is legal advice. I don't allege that what I have seen is representative of cases nationwide, that it is proper, or that your own state operates the same way. Be sure to consult a lawyer for actual legal advice.

tgace said...

I have some advice. If you think you have drank too much, don't drive.

tgace said...

As to this thread. It sounds like this cop should have been drummed out a while ago and this dept deserves a hefty lawsuit for retaining him.

Tam said...

tgace,

IMPDs big problem right now is the fact that the Bisard incident comes right on the heels of a controversial police beatdown on a juvenile who was of a different ethnicity than the officers on the top of the pigpile. That, and the FBI is in town already to stick a microscope up our prosecutor's fourth point of contact.

No business of 1500+ employees would want all their rocks turned over and all their dirty laundry aired all at once, but that is what's happening to the police here in Indy. It'll be a while before they regain much of the public trust.

Anonymous said...

Can't regain what they never had.