Judge: Blood draw can't be used in Bisard DUI case
Indianapolis - A judge Tuesday ruled a blood test cannot be used to prosecute an IMPD officer in for drunken driving charges.
Judge Grant Hawkins ruled that the blood draw administered to Officer David Bisard after the August 6 crash that killed one motorcyclist and injured two others cannot be used as evidence for alcohol-related charges.
"To the OWVI cases, it is a big blow, because we will not be able to use the blood test," said David Rimstidt, Marion County Prosecutor's Office.
A blood-alcohol test indicated Bisard was at .19, more than twice the legal limit. But defense attorneys argued the blood draw was not conducted at a hospital and by a medical assistant, which is not in accordance with state law.
EXTRA: Read the judge's ruling
The ruling means Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry will likely have to withdraw six DUI-related charges against Bisard.
The judge will, however, allow the test to be used to prove a felony charge of reckless homicide against Bisard, as well as two felony counts of criminal recklessness resulting in serious bodily injury.
The prosecutor's office says they plan to appeal the ruling.
"The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has presented a sound legal argument as to why the blood test should be admitted. We will review today's court ruling and make a prompt decision regarding a possible appeal. We are committed to prosecuting this case to its conclusion," Curry's office said in a statement.
Former Marion County Prosecutor, Carl Brizzi withdrew drunken driving charges against Bisard last August because of the blood draw. Curry re-filed the charges after he took office in January, saying the validity of the blood test was up to the judge to decide.
As has been the case at every hearing, Bisard did not answer questions and made no statements leaving the courtroom.
"Everything at this point would be, at most, a partial victory," said Bisard's attorney, John Kautzman. "It certainly isn't a celebratory day for any of us. The case continues to drag on, a lot of people's lives have been affected by this. So it's hardly a victory, but it is an important legal step in trying to bring some resolution to this case."
Eric Wells, 30, died in the crash on E. 56th Street as he waited at a stoplight as Officer Bisard responded to a call. Mary Mills, who was injured in the crash, was in the courtroom Tuesday, but did not speak to reporters after the ruling.
Wells' parents said Tuesday would be an emotional day for them, no matter the outcome. They said they were prepared or the decision and are not giving up.
"It all ends up in the same place, regardless of the decision here today. That is, the courts get a chance to hear this case, they get to rule on it and that's all we've ever asked for since our son was killed," said Wells' father, Aaron. "We're not going to lose our hope and this decision today has not affected that at all."
Bisard's attorney has until July 28 to file a motion to suppress the blood draw in the criminal recklessness charges. Other motions in the case aren't expected to be ruled on until next year.
In the meantime, numerous families wait for justice or closure.
"Eric is watching us," said Wells' mother, Mary. "He'll help us get through this. He's up there taking care of us."