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Killpack to challenge legality of DUI arrest
by Melinda Williams
Apr 15, 2010 | 2175 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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SALT LAKE CITY —In a hearing which lasted less than five minutes Monday, former state Senator Sheldon Killpack’s attorney said he will file a motion which apparently will challenge the legality of Killpack’s traffic stop on DUI charges.

Killpack appeared in Salt Lake County Justice Court, where his preliminary hearing was postponed until May 25 after his attorney Ed Brass told the judge he planned to file a motion, “with respect to the stop.”

Killpack was stopped by a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper on Jan. 15 on suspicion of a DUI after the trooper observed Killpack’s vehicle in an erratic driving pattern near 3300 South and 700 East, shortly after midnight.

He failed field sobriety tests, then refused to take a Breathalyzer test. Court documents indicate officers obtained a warrant for a blood draw. Killpack’s blood-alcohol level was above the state’s legal limit at 0.11. The legal limit is 0.08. It was reported that Killpack, 41, and a former state representative were leaving a bar called Liquid Joes.

The following day Killpack resigned his position as senate majority leader, and was charged on Feb. 2 with a DUI, a class B misdemeanor and failure to signal, a class C misdemeanor. He entered not guilty pleas to both charges.

In court Monday, Killpack chatted with others awaiting hearings, with one woman wishing him well as he and Brass left the courtroom.

Brass has questioned the legality of the UHP stop saying in a petition filed early last month that the trooper “lacked reasonable grounds to request a chemical test.”

Killpack’s drivers license has been revoked until August 2011. When the former senator gets his license back he must have an ignition interlock device on his vehicle for three years and he will be an alcohol restricted driver for five additional years.

A hearing on the suspension has been set for April 21 in Third District Court.

Another area of contention surrounds the release of the dash-cam video of the arrest.

In most cases, such videos are released to the media, but the Utah Department of Public Safety has refused to release the video, saying it would deprive Killpack of a fair trial. A May 3 hearing has been set in that matter.

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