Friday, June 18, 2010

YouTube Video: Dashcam Video Of DUI Traffic Stop Of Former Utah State Senator Sheldon Killpack

On Thursday June 17th, 2010, Utah Third District Judge Denise Lindberg ruled that the video and a written report of the DUI arrest of former Utah State Senator Sheldon Killpack were public records and should be released to the media (also reported by KSL). This decision was the culmination of a five-month dispute between news outlets and the Department of Public Safety, which had argued the release could impair Killpack's right to a fair trial. Killpack himself has been somewhat ambivalent about the video's release.

The Salt Lake Tribune promptly uploaded a 10-minute segment of the video to YouTube; it is embedded below. In response to Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Raymond Thomson's question about how much Killpack had been drinking, Killpack initially told the trooper that he had not been drinking and the smell was his passenger. But the video below eventually tells a DIFFERENT story.

-- At 0:54, UHP trooper begins interview of Killpack prior to field sobriety test.

-- At 2:25, UHP trooper shines light in Killpack's face and directs Killpack to follow the trooper's hand. No obvious problems.

-- At 5:00, UHP trooper instructs Killpack to place one foot in front of the other as a balance test. No obvious problems.

-- At 6:10, UHP trooper instructs Killpack to begin walking a straight line, placing one foot directly in front of the other. Killpack is reasonably successful, although he falters a bit during the transition.

-- At 7:30, UHP trooper instructs Killpack to stand on one leg. Killpack blows this test badly, has problems staying balanced, hops all over the place.

Killpack was stopped just after midnight on January 15th, 2010, a few days before the start of the 2010 legislative session, leaving the bar Liquid Joe's where he had been watching a concert by The Metal Gods, a hair band cover act. Trooper Thomson observed Killpack allegedly driving erratically, weaving across the white dotted center line near 3300 South and 700 East. You can review all previous posts on this case HERE, with the most recent post appearing first.

Killpack refused to do a Breathalyzer, but ultimately agreed to provide a blood sample. Killpack then resigned his Senate seat the next day and was charged with driving under the influence, a class B misdemeanor, and failure to signal, a class C misdemeanor. The results of the blood test showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.11, above the 0.08 legal limit. Read the four page police report HERE. Despite the affirmative result, Killpack is appealing the suspension of his driver license -- which is automatic if a driver refuses a breath test. A bench trial on that issue is set for August 17th before 3rd District Judge John Paul Kennedy.

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