- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) - A northern Idaho judge has ruled that the blood alcohol content obtained after drawing blood from a man involved in a fatal crash isn’t admissible because police didn’t get a search warrant.

A 2nd District judge also ruled Thursday that statements Kyle N. Rios made to police following the Dec. 1, 2013, crash in Lewiston also can’t be used, the Lewiston Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1LlvjMh ).

“The court was presented with no evidence that securing a search warrant to obtain the blood draw evidence would have been impractical or difficult,” Judge Jeff M. Brudie wrote. “The accident happened within city limits, law enforcement was immediately dispatched to the scene, Rios was quickly taken to the hospital for treatment, and had refused to consent to a blood draw.”

Rios is charged with vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal crash and drunk driving following the crash that killed Paul W. Stuk of Peck.

“I’m disappointed with the judge’s ruling today suppressing the blood results,” said Nez Perce County Deputy Prosecutor Justin Coleman after the ruling. “I’m looking into what options there are to appeal it. My view on the case and the strength of the evidence remains the same.”

Officers took Rios to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and ordered blood be drawn, though Rios refused to sign a waiver. Testimony at a preliminary hearing reported Rios had a blood alcohol content of 0.263 percent, three times the legal limit.

Police said that after the crash, Rios walked away from the scene. Police found him and he was detained inside a patrol car as officers investigated. Court documents say Rios spoke willingly to police before being read his rights.

Also on Thursday, Brudie denied a request to move the trial’s location due to publicity.


Information from: Lewiston Tribune, https://www.lmtribune.com

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