Milwaukee, WI- A Wisconsin court denied the request a man’s request to have blood test evidence suppressed in his fatal DUI case.
Keith L. Wiedmeyer, 34, of West Bend, which is approximately 40 miles northeast of Milwaukee was drinking heavily before the fatal accident.
It was Christmas Eve as Wiedmeyer was driving north on Highway 45 when he crashed his car head-on into a southbound vehicle.
That car was driven by Mark Matenaer; his brother Peter and his mother were also in the vehicle. The impact of the collision crushed the front end of both vehicles and injured Matenaer’s mother Pamela, who was seated in the back, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Pamela Matenaer survived the initial collision, but died the following afternoon of multiple chest and abdominal injuries. Both Mark and Peter were injured but they survived.
Witnesses said that Wiedmeyer was traveling at speeds in excess of 80 mph.
Wiedmeyer admitted he had taken his eyes off the road to send a text, but police suspected that he was also intoxicated. When asked to submit to a breath test and field sobriety tests Wiedmeyer refused.
Wiedmeyer also refused a blood test at the hospital, but an officer did a blood draw 90 minutes after the accident without obtaining a warrant first.
That blood test revealed that Wiedmeyer’s blood alcohol level was 0.124, but he moved to have that evidence suppressed in his trial based on U. S. Supreme Court decision handed down in April. That decision argued that warrantless blood tests were unconstitutional and police could only draw blood without a warrant only under special circumstances, typically when a person’s life is in danger.
Weidmeyer believed that the April Supreme Court decision should be replied retroactively in his case. Police, however, maintained they followed a law that had been in place in Wisconsin for over two decades.
Washington County Circuit Judge Todd Martens agreed with police and denied Weidmeyer’s request to have the evidence suppressed.
“There was no way the officer could have known the law would change,” Martens said last Wednesday when he denied the motion.
Before the Supreme Court ruling, Wisconsin was among the many states that allowed warrantless blood tests in special circumstances since alcohol quickly dissipates in a person’s system and they have to move quickly to collect that evidence.
Wiedmeyer’s criminal complaint also states he was disorderly at the hospital, shouting profanities and disrupted the emergency room.
Wiedmeyer was charged with numerous counts including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, second-degree reckless homicide, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, two counts of causing injury while drunken driving, and one count of disorderly conduct, the Sentinel reported.
There are occasions where police overstep their bounds to collect evidence for a DUI arrest, but Judge Martens didn’t believe that was the case in this instance.