Former clergyman says OWI testing should be thrown out - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Former clergyman says OWI testing should be thrown out


MADISON (WKOW) -- A former Lutheran bishop says the results of his testing for drunken driving after a fatal, hit and run crash, should be thrown out.

Authorities say Bruce Burnside's blood alcohol level was .12, after he crashed into and killed 52-year old Maureen Mengelt, as Mengelt jogged in Sun Prairie April 7. Authorities say Burnside drove off, and was contacted at a nearby gas station.

During a Dane County court hearing Thursday, Sun Prairie police officer Michelle Wilson testified when she questioned Burnside, there was no odor of alcohol, his speech was articulate, and his movements were normal.

Wilson testified Burnside's unusual calm, some discrepancy in his story, and his absence from the accident scene contributed to her decision to require him to perform sobriety tests.

Video of the tests played in court show Burnside struggling at times to maintain his balance.

Burnside also says the sobriety test results are invalid because officers failed to carry them out properly. During testimony, Wilson conceded her surprise over a clergyman trying to conceal his drunken driving caused her to make a mistake in testing protocol, by forcing Burnside to take one test out-of-order. Wilson said Burnside had told her he had not been drinking.

Burnside is scheduled to face trial in February for homicide by drunken driving and hit and run. 

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