Officer: Bisard was drinking the night before August 2010 crash
An Indianapolis Metro Police officer testified Friday that he was concerned about fellow Officer David Bisard failing a blood alcohol test because he had consumed several drinks the night before a fatal August 2010 crash.
Prosecutors contend the police officer was drunk when he crashed into a group of motorcyclists three years ago. The crash critically injured Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly. Eric Wells was killed that day.
David Bisard faces nine criminal counts in connection with the August 2010 crash. Bisard's blood alcohol content was tested at well over the legal limit, but drunk driving charges were thrown out on a technicality stemming from the way the blood sample was handled.
Officer Daniel Ryan was at the crash scene and spoke with Bisard days later as he waited blood test results.
"Conversations Officer Ryan had with Bisard were pretty brief and to the point. Bisard did express his concerns about positive results as far as alcohol," said Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson, speaking about Bisard allegedly consuming several vodka drinks the night before.
Vodka is colorless and nearly odorless, and prosecutors allege that is among the reasons no one suspected Bisard was intoxicated. Tests determined he had a BAC of .19
"It's not that they believed he was intoxicated. It's that they saw signs of intoxication and they simply didn't believe that was intoxication," said Robinson.
The question for David Bisard is what jurors believe. They heard from top brass at IMPD, who also took the stand Friday.
IMPD Assistant Chief Ron Hicks testified for the prosecution about the crash scene.
"I saw stress on his face," Hicks said, describing how Bisard looked after the crash. "His eyes were a little puffy and his face was red."
Hicks attributed Bisard's appearance to the impact from the airbag. When Hicks told Bisard he would have to take a blood test, Bisard told him he had no problem with that.
In the cross examination, Hicks testified that Bisard showed none of the signs or behavior typical of someone who is intoxicated. When questioned further, Hicks said he could have missed some of the signs and said he was aware that some people can build up a tolerance for alcohol.
IMPD Major John Conley also testified for the prosecution. He said Bisard did not exhibit "classic" signs of intoxication and also attributed Bisard's puffy eyes and red face to the exploded airbag.
When asked if those signs could be "indications of intoxication," Conley replied, "Yes." When asked if Bisard might have looked the way he did because of both factors - alcohol consumption and the airbag going off - Conley also said yes.
Conley said Bisard was on a routine run at the time of the crash. Investigators say Bisard was driving at 76 mph.
"You had every faith and confidence he could perform his tasks," Conley was asked. "Yes," he replied."
Hicks and Conley, along with then- Assistant Chief Darryl Pierce, were demoted a few weeks after the Bisard crash due to a "failure in leadership" amid claims of a flawed investigation. Hicks, Conley and Pierce were dropped to their merit ranks of lieutenant in the demotion.
Hicks and Conley were promoted in March 2013. Hicks was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police and John Conley is now Commander of the Southeast District. Both were promoted in a ceremony held in the Chief's Conference Room.