IMPD officer to challenge blood alcohol test

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Sandra Chapman/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - While an IMPD officer's attorney says they'll challenge the results of a blood alcohol content test, city officials say there's no reason for doubt.

Officer David Bisard faces seven felony counts including reckless homicide. He is accused of driving drunk when he smashed into two motorcycles on the Indianapolis northeast side last Friday, killing one man and leaving two others in critical condition. Bisard's attorney John Kautzhmann says he will examine the chain of custody for the blood draw.

Bisard, an honored police officer, was speeding to a back-up call with enough alcohol in his system to declare him legally drunk twice over, according to the BAC test, which came back at .19. City officials said there was no indication he was impaired at the crash scene.

Now the city's Fraternal Order of Police president openly wonders if the officers blood vials were mixed up.

"If the chain of custody is tight, then there's really not much doubt," said Mayor Greg Ballard.

"Particularly the officers involved in this accident, are part of a very elite team that investigates fatal accidents. So I would have to have confidence in the system," said Public Safety Director Frank Straub.

Straub was referring to the Fatal Alcohol Crash Team, officers specially trained to reconstruct what happened and why, and to preserve evidence.

In this case, Lawrence Police Officer Stan Stephens was sent to a Methodist Occupational Health Center to get a blood draw from Officer Bisard.

In a report obtained by Eyewitness News, Stephens wrote:

"At 13:48 hours this officer witnessed (the) medical assistant clean the inner right arm of Officer David Bisard. Then (she) inserted the needle into two tubes of blood from Bisard's right arm."

Stephens says he "...made note of the lot numbers...and placed a pre-initial label on both tubes. The label consisted of a case number, officer Bisard's name, date of birth, the date and the nurse's initials." Stephens then took possession of both tubes of blood, placed them in a bio-hazard bag and transported them to 50 N. Alabama Street, the IMPD property room."

"There's nothing at this point to believe that that process failed in any way. In fact it points to the custody and the transfer of evidence as following procedure and being handled properly," said Straub.

Also, Bisard's driving history is drawing more questions.

During his five years at the Noblesville Police Department, Bisard "was involved in one on-duty crash when he struck the corner of a building while initiating a traffic stop in an alley. The crash was on September 17th, 1996. Damage was minimal, no injuries were reported and no arrests were made," according to Major Scott Kirby.

Bisard had no suspensions or demotions at NPD and left in 2001. He was involved in five on-duty crashes with IMPD since 2002. All were considered minor and did not involve injuries.

See the charges against Officer Bisard.