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Officer waiting fatal DWI trial tests at 0.22% in new crash, police say

Bisard

INDIANAPOLIS – A suspended Indianapolis police officer awaiting trial on charges he caused a fatal 2010 collision had a blood-alcohol level nearly 3 times the legal limit when he crashed a pickup truck over the weekend, authorities said Monday.

The Marion County prosecutor’s office filed two misdemeanor drunken driving charges against David Bisard on Monday. Bisard crashed into a guard rail Saturday afternoon and became stuck in the mud along a winding, narrow road through a wooded area in the northeastern Indianapolis community of Lawrence.

A blood test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 percent, according to court documents. The state’s legal limit to drive is 0.08 percent.

Along with the new charges, prosecutors asked that Bisard’s bond be revoked as he awaits trial on charges including felony reckless homicide stemming from a 2010 crash in which his squad car ran into two motorcycles stopped at a traffic light, killing 30-year-old Eric Wells and injuring two others.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said a condition of Bisard remaining free while awaiting trial was that he not be arrested again.

“The allegation is that he’s again operated a vehicle while intoxicated and endangering folks,” Curry said. “Fortunately, in this instance, no one was injured.”

Bisard was still in jail Monday on $25,000 bond. A telephone message seeking comment from Bisard’s attorney, John Kautzman, wasn’t immediately returned.

The Allen County judge overseeing the 2010 case didn’t take immediate action or schedule a hearing on the request to revoke Bisard’s bond, said Peg McLeish, a spokeswoman for the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

Police officers said Bisard was unsteady after Saturday’s crash and told them he had been drinking alcoholic beverages, according to court documents. Bisard told officers “I wish I could make this DUI go away,” and investigators found a bottle of vodka in the truck’s rear passenger seat, an affidavit said.

Bisard, 39, has been suspended without pay from the Indianapolis Police Department since the fatal August 2010 crash, pending the outcome of his trial, which has been moved to Fort Wayne because of extensive media coverage in central Indiana. That trial is set to begin in October. If convicted, Bisard could face 20 or more years in prison.

The case drew intense local media coverage as legal snarls caused it to drag on for months and police officers’ handling of the crash scene and evidence stirred public distrust and led to disciplinary action against several high-ranking officers, including the demotion of the police chief.

The case has undergone a series of delays over admission of blood tests that showed Bisard had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. The Indiana Supreme Court in ruled in December that the blood tests could be admitted into evidence.

Curry said while it was unlikely that the new arrest could be used as evidence in the trial over the 2010 crash, he would have his office study that possibility of it being admissible.

“At this point that’s uncertain whether that would be the case or not,” he said.

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