A jury has been selected in Fort Wayne, Indiana for a trial involving a state police officer accused of crashing into two motorcycles with his car while intoxicated.
In 2010, while rushing to help catch a suspect, David Bisard of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department slammed his police cruiser into a pair of motorcycles, killing one rider and injuring two others. He had allegedly been driving on East 56th Street at speeds as high as 73 miles per hour, and his blood alcohol level was later found to be .19, more than twice the legal limit.
Since then, Bisard has been charged with six felony counts, including operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level higher than .15. He was suspended from the police department, although attempts to have his driver's license suspended were unsuccessful.
Bisard's argument going into the trial is that the vials containing his blood was mishandled by the Methodist Occupational Health Center, resulting in an inflated blood alcohol level. Bisard's attorney contends that while Bisard may have been intoxicated, his intoxication did not approach .19. The defense is prepared to call 12 to 15 witnesses to the stand who will testify that they did not smell any alcohol on Bisard's breath or see any intoxication in his behavior that day. Bisard also contends that the crash was due to malfunctioning brakes on his police cruiser; the new brake pads had been installed the morning of the crash.
Bisard's defense is complicated by the fact that he was arrested a second time for driving under the influence in April 2013. He was arrested in Lawrence for crashing a pick up truck into a utility pole. An open bottle of vodka was found in his truck, and his blood alcohol level registered .22. Since then, Bisard has remained in Marion County Jail. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 86, which had contributed as much as $400,000 to his legal team, withdrew their funding.
In 2011, it was estimated that every 90 seconds, an individual was injured in a drunk driving collision, and 9,878 people died overall — or one every 53 minutes. In Indiana, there were 208 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2011, accounting for 27.7% of the total driving fatalities.
Drunk driving is a serious problem, as well as a breach of the duty that every driver has to operate a vehicle safely. While drunk driving suspects may face criminal charges, those injured by a drunk driving collision also have the option of filing a civil lawsuit against the driver. The injured party would argue that the driver had a duty to drive as safely as was reasonably possible, but breached that duty due to intoxicated driving. The breach caused the injury, and as a result, the injured party suffered damage. If you or a loved one were injured in a drunk driving accident, contact an Indiana personal injury attorney to discuss your options.
Miller & Falkner is a plaintiffs law firm serving residents of Kentucky and Indiana. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, the firm provides representation in the areas of personal injury and employment law. Contact us today for a free consultation.