Sunday, June 11, 2017

Drunk-Driving Officer Is Out Of Jail

     Former IMPD officer David Bisard has a problem: he drinks and drives.  In 2010, while on duty, he plowed his police car into a group of motorcyclists waiting to make a left turn, killing one and injuring two more.  His blood alcohol was twice the legal limit.  Those are all facts, subsequently established in open court.

     In the aftermath, misleading information was fed to the press, evidence (a blood sample) was mishandled in what appears to have been an attempt to make it useless, and IMPD leadership underwent significant changes.  Meanwhile David Bisard, free and awaiting trial, wrecked his father-in-law's truck and was discovered to have been driving it while drunk.

     He was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years -- effectively eight, unless he misbehaved behind bars.  Possibly a little light for a man who would not even admit to having been drunk when he killed someone, but pretty heavy time. Eight years of a dangerous serial drunk-driver off the streets.

     Except he's out now, having served only three and a half years.  The families of his victims are vexed.

     I have known and worked with several drunks.  High-functioning alcoholics, every one of them.  They rarely change.  None of the ones I knew did.  One of them drank until his liver put him in the hospital.  Told he could go on to live many more years -- as long as he never drank again -- he got into a treatment program and within a year, drank himself to death.  Three more derailed their careers; one was caught nursing a nice can of some soft drink and vodka at work, sent for blood work and discovered to have a quite astounding blood alcohol level for someone who was upright and talking.  Another worked support for a celebrity's public appearances one drink-friendly holiday, gratefully accepted all the lovely beer he was offered, and was pulled over by police early in the morning of the next day, speeding one of his employer's vehicles the wrong way down the freeway.  The third apparently downed a bottle of some unscented liquor on his way to work -- perhaps just a bit more or more rapidly than was his usual -- then when trying to park, damaged his car and suffered slight injury.  There was blood, so policy called for an ambulance. Downtown ambulances are generally preceded or shadowed by police.  Good police officers are a bit suspicious by nature and the truth will out -- or at least it did then.  None of those four were especially bad guys -- okay, one was a horse's ass sometimes, this is real life -- the point is they weren't foaming-at-the-mouth axe murderers but they were a danger, a largely hidden danger, to themselves and others. Each of them had opportunities for treatment; some of them may even have availed themselves of it.  It didn't help.  Someone who will drink heavily while working or driving is likely to keep on so doing.  Most of them manage to only cause minor harm while they do.

     David Bisard, more dangerous than any of those examples, has been released with a few years on probation and it seems premature.  It is probably only a matter of time before he's back in jail and if the rest of us are very, very lucky, he won't have killed anyone with a vehicle first.


Old NFO said...

I would be pissed too, that's not a lot of years for what he did, period!

JayNola said...

I've always been amazed by functioning alcoholics. Had a fitter in the shipyard I worked at that could cut a laser straight line freehand. As long as it wasn't too close to lunch or quitting time. Once he came back from lunch he'd be fine. Too much blood in the alcohol system and he's lose his steady hand Rather unfortunately he was killed on the job when a crane operator let go of the brake because of a cramp. His BAC caused some issues with the widow.

pigpen51 said...

Neighbors son is brain damaged in a home, for life, due to a drunk driver. He is in his early twenties. The kid who hit him got 5 years.
I was fired from my job of 35 years for a random drug test that showed alcohol in my system. I had been at the shop for 7 hours, and had not drank anything. The company refused to tell me even what my BAC was. They didn't prove it to the state of MI, either. I could have fought it, but they are a corporation, and have deep pockets. Even if I prevailed, I would not have wanted to try to continue working there. But we did have one guy who was popped for marijuana once who had such a high level that they said he almost had to have been smoking on the way to the hospital for his drug test. Some peoples kids. Life goes on, and you learn every day.

Comrade Misfit said...

I fear that you are correct about this: He will get sloshed and drive again.

Anonymous said...

According to George Orwell in his novel Animal Farm: see chapter ten at the bottom

All Animals are equal.

Some Animals are more equal than others.

Anonymous said...

3 years probation is not an insignificant amount of time to stay dry for an addict, as he *will* be getting very short notice pee tests as terms of the probation.

Being a cop, he probably had a very rough time as an inmate, so he will have a strong motivation to not get sent back.

Only time will tell what will win that battle...

Will said...

Who's to say he's dry now? Not uncommon to have various intoxicants smuggled into jails.

Safest bet is to assume he will be drinking. I can only recall one person I personally knew who quit drinking, and made it stick. Lots of others never did, including a few friends and relatives.

On multiple occasions I've nearly died due to the actions of drunks, two of which landed me in hospital, one of them maimed for life. That last one stole his Chevy out of the impound yard, and was caught 50 miles up the road, drunk. Between my cycle and body, I'm told that the car was totaled.

One of the Scandinavian countries has a drunk driving system that seems to work reasonably well. If you fail a roadside test, they take you directly to a prison, where a judge verifies the findings. You stay for a year. No court battle or appeal, and they don't care who you are. They once popped the equivalent of our Vice Pres on his way home from a party, and away he went.