Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced new alcohol policies last weekend aimed at restoring public trust in police, including mandatory breath tests after any crash involving a squad car, reports the Indianapolis Star. “This is a painful moment for our city and our Police Department,” Ballard said. The police department — already plagued by allegations of police misconduct — came under intense scrutiny last month when an officer suspected of driving his squad car while intoxicated struck and killed a motorcyclist and critically injured two others.
No breath test was performed on David Bisard, the officer who struck the three motorcyclists. He underwent a blood test two hours after the crash. Because the test was performed by a medical technician who lacked certification, drunken-driving charges were dropped — even though they showed Bisard’s blood-alcohol content was 0.19, more than twice the level at which Indiana drivers are considered intoxicated. Bisard had had five other on-duty accidents over the past eight years, all resulting in property damage. “We are adopting  a zero-tolerance policy,” the mayor said. “For public safety to be job one, we must have the trust of the public.” From now on, any officer involved in a crash that causes injury or property damage will be required to undergo a breath test.