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Archive for Monday, October 25, 2010

District attorney: Congressional candidate Kevin Yoder entered guilty plea in 2009 to not taking breath test

October 25, 2010, 12:24 p.m. Updated October 25, 2010, 5:14 p.m.

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2010 Kansas Elections: U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd District

Kevin Yoder, Stephene Moore and Jasmin Talbert are running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 3rd Congressional District.

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Republican 3rd Congressional District candidate Kevin Yoder pleaded guilty to refusing to take a preliminary breath test in connection with a 2009 incident, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said Monday.

“If someone is going to obstruct a DUI investigation, we are going to require that they plead to refusal of a PBT,” Branson said Monday.

Yoder’s campaign said he was not driving under the influence.

“Kevin was pulled over for speeding,” said Alissa McCurley, a spokeswoman for Yoder. “He was asked to take a field sobriety test, which he passed.”

Some questions have arisen about whether refusal to take a preliminary breath triggers suspension of a driver’s license by the state.

James Keller, deputy general counsel for the Kansas Department of Revenue, said that isn’t the case.

“We don’t suspend for a person refusing to take a preliminary breath test,” Keller said.

Yoder, an Overland Park Republican and current state House member, faces Democrat Stephene Moore and Libertarian Jasmin Talbert in the Nov. 2 election. The 3rd District includes eastern Lawrence and Douglas County plus Johnson and Wyandotte counties.

Yoder, driving a 2002 Lexus, was pulled over on Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence by a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper at 2:31 a.m. Feb. 8, 2009, Branson said.

He was given a ticket for going 80 mph in a 70 mph zone and for refusing to submit to the preliminary breath test. It appears he was given a citation at the scene and not taken into custody.

On March 25, Yoder’s attorney Scott Gyllenborg filed a motion for a continuance because of a court conflict, and the matter was rescheduled for April 3, according to the Douglas County district attorney’s office.

On April 3, Gyllenborg appeared and requested a continuance to apply for a diversion for Yoder.

But the district attorney’s office said in a statement: “Mr. Yoder ultimately did not apply for diversion but entered into a plea agreement with the district attorney’s office.”

On June 4, Gyllenborg on Yoder’s behalf entered a plea of guilty to refusal to a preliminary breath test. The court ordered a $90 fine plus court costs.

“We view the refusal of a preliminary breath test as an obstruction of a driving under the influence investigation and therefore we require a plea to that charge,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Amy McGowan. “The speeding infraction was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.”

Moore’s campaign manager Matt Sinovic criticized Yoder’s actions.

“Kevin Yoder’s irresponsible actions … are inexcusable. His lies in attempt to cover up these facts are an insult to the voters of the 3rd District,” Sinovic said.

McCurley defended Yoder.

“He was issued a speeding ticket and then asked to take a preliminary Breathalyzer test. He declined because he had passed the sobriety test. Kevin was not driving under the influence. He paid the fine for one citation, the other was dismissed,” she said.

A preliminary breath test is a portable device that can measure whether there is a high concentration of alcohol.

Keller said the results cannot be used as evidence in court. They are usually used to assist an officer in determining if there is reasonable cause to make an arrest or grounds for an officer to request that the person take a more accurate breath test. Refusing to take the more accurate breath test can result in suspension of a driver’s license, although there are several ways to appeal that action in an administrative review and court review.

Comments

LJ Whirled 3 years, 5 months ago

News Flash! Branson is a dipwad.

The PBT is just a glorified field sobriety test and is not even admissible as evidence of intoxication. If the cop had enough reason to think the guy was drunk, he could have (and presumably would have) asked him to take a full breathalyzer, the refusal of which is a serious violation and gets your license popped (just ask the DA ... er, or maybe ask somebody who knows the law).

Requesting a PBT after the guy passed field sobriety testing was overkill and over-reaching, and that's why there was no arrest and no request for a full breath or blood test. He PASSED the filed sobriety testing, which pretty much NOBODY, drunk or sober, can pass. So scold the guy about the dangers of the demon rum and send him on his way.

This is a NothingBurger.

... Next feeble attack, please!?!?

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beatrice 3 years, 5 months ago

So if a cop comes to your house and wants to see ID to prove that you actually live there, you should shut up and just comply (as many of you same people said about professor Henry Gates not too long ago), but if the same cop asks you to breathe into a tube to prove you aren't a menace to society by driving drunk you should tell the cop to shove it. You have your rights, after all!

Wish you conservatives would make up your minds. Should we comply and do as cops ask, or shouldn't we not?

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jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

According to a little research I just did, it is currently illegal to refuse to submit to a blood test, etc. to determine alcohol use when driving in KS.

I believe the law was strengthened this year.

So, all of you advocating "Just say no" might want to reconsider that.

Google DUI penalties KS.

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Jimo 3 years, 5 months ago

There was a time when a respectable newspaper had a reporter 'down at the courthouse' to notice stories like this when they occurred rather than discovering them nearly two years later.

Pleadings and court dockets are public so how did the LJW miss the story?

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Agnostick 3 years, 5 months ago

"It doesn't matter what I do," he answered. "People need to hear what I have to say. There's no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn't matter what I live."

http://www.esquire.com/features/newt-gingrich-0910-8

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blindrabbit 3 years, 5 months ago

If this was/is "no big deal" why didn't Yoder bring this up himself instead of being "discovered" by the media or his opponent. Ya can't something a secret anymore!

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David Albertson 3 years, 5 months ago

I can only imagine what the conservatives would be saying if it were a Democrat that refused a breathalyzer test. They'd be ready to hang him from the closest tree. This reminds me of when their superhero Rush was found out to be a pill addict. I have to laugh at how he rails against drug addicts and yet he is one himself. Kinda like Ted Haggard railing against homosexuals and yet he pays for male prostitutes. What a bunch of hypocrites.

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JustNoticed 3 years, 5 months ago

His marriage should be of no concern unless he's espousing one thing and living another. Then it's a concern because he's a hypocrite. But if a candidate has an open marriage and doesn't pretend otherwise, who cares?

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 5 months ago

2:31 am driving on K10. No big deal. This is a non-issue.

As an elite, his special abilities guarantee that he is above the law. He can't be held to the same petty standards as you and I. The elite need the veil of secrecy so that they can conduct their business without fear of interference from the masses.

Ted Kennedy and Kevin Yoder are both elites who have trouble with alcohol. This should not have been reported. Now that it has been, it is a non-issue.

Next...

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JustNoticed 3 years, 5 months ago

Kudos to the right-wing nut job for saying no to the Trooper. Let's just hope the fool doesn't get elected, but not because of this slander.

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monicalewinsky 3 years, 5 months ago

Ask Kevin Yoder about his "open marraige" with Brooke, his wife. Suddenly she comes back after 2 years being gone back to Kentucky to stand by her man until he gets elected. The problem with Kevin is he has no convictions other than to be his own little opportunist. "Family Values" for republicans means for everyone except them. You Republicans can have him, he doesn't stand for anything except "Kevin". He won't even stand for a breathalizer even though he "hasn't been drinking" Yeah, right.

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senegal66025 3 years, 5 months ago

its a non moving violation. It was plead out in the same way that hundreds are handled every year in Douglas County. No big deal and wouldn't have garnered any attention except that its Yoder and its a week before the election. But no matter. Yoder will win and Moore will remain in DC working for a lobby firm.

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

"On June 4, Gyllenborg on Yoder’s behalf entered a plea of guilty to refusal to a preliminary breath test. The court ordered a $90 fine plus court costs.

“We view the refusal of a preliminary breath test as an obstruction of a driving under the influence investigation and therefore we require a plea to that charge,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Amy McGowan. “The speeding infraction was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.""


This right here is the meat of the matter. He made a speeding ticket and refusal to do the PBT "go away" for 90 bucks. Thus the speeding ticket , which would have gone on his driving record and insurance record, disappeared. Not only that he did it for probably half the money anybody else would have paid for the ticket. I also wonder why this matter even required an attorney. Most people get speeding tickets, show up and pay them and go on with their lives. Like I said must be nice to have money and friends in high places.

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Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 5 months ago

If he passed the field sobriety test, then why was he asked to take the PBT?

That's the big question here. There is no reason, nor I assume no protocal, to move to the PBT if the field sobriety test passed.

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deathpenaltyliberal 3 years, 5 months ago

"rockchalk1977 (anonymous) says… In other news. Like the mythological hydra that grew two heads for every one cut off, the controversial ACORN group has been reborn under a swarm of new names and poses an "epidemic" voter-fraud threat that could alter the outcome of midterm elections, GOP leaders warn. David Norcross, chairman of the Republican National Lawyers Association,"

ACORN, liberals, Ted Kennedy!!!!!! Lions and tigers and bears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You conservatives are as predictable as you are spineless. C'mon weaklings, step your game up!.

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rockchalk1977 3 years, 5 months ago

In other news.

Like the mythological hydra that grew two heads for every one cut off, the controversial ACORN group has been reborn under a swarm of new names and poses an "epidemic" voter-fraud threat that could alter the outcome of midterm elections, GOP leaders warn.

David Norcross, chairman of the Republican National Lawyers Association, tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview that the community-organizing group ACORN "absolutely" has re-emerged since it was disbanded in March following a rash of voter-fraud investigations.

"Some of the old ACORN groups are back at it again," Norcross tells Newsmax.TV. "They use quotas for registration. That encourages people to go out and sign up anybody, or nobody — just sign up addresses and things like that."

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LJ Whirled 3 years, 5 months ago

Why would you do a Field Sobriety Test if you are going to ask further testing even if the guy passes it? What was the point?
There obviously was no basis for further investigation, or the Trooper would have taken him in for a full Breathalyzer or blood test. He didn't, so I assume he should have been released without being asked to take the PBT as soon as he had passed the sobriety tests.

btw ... it is not illegal to drink and drive, as long as you are not over the limit, and as long as you are not so impaired as to be unable to safely operate your vehicle.

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Centerville 3 years, 5 months ago

At least he didn't leave his Blackberry someplace, shall we say, untoward.

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invision 3 years, 5 months ago

So the elephant in the room is why is a guy coming back from Lawrence at 2:31 in the morning during the middle of a legislative session in which he was appropriations chairman? On a sunday night no less. Hmmm..

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Roland Gunslinger 3 years, 5 months ago

He was speeding and got ticketed. Great! The system works. He was asked to pass a field sobriety check and passed. Great! When asked to submit to another test he refused - which he has the right to do. Great! The guy exercised his constitutional rights. Good for him.

Add in his lawyers fees on top of his fine and court costs and that was a very expensive speeding violation. It's becoming more and more expensive to exercise your rights in this country.

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deathpenaltyliberal 3 years, 5 months ago

Like Bush's DUI, this gets covered up for years by the conservative corporate media.

"Law enforcement crooked", eh? Next time you need a cop, call Rush Limbaugh! Bwaaahhhh!

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gr3sam 3 years, 5 months ago

Sad: I really thought Branson and Co. were above engaging in such small time antics.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 5 months ago

Rothschild just couldn't help himself but to plaster a big headline about this again in their paper, even though it was already covered yesterday. I can't believe the journalistic standards he gets away with. Nothing to see here, move on. And no, I absolutely would not have submitted, nor will I ever submit to one----never. If they can't get you on the field sobriety (even though they can massage and manipulate the results any way which they want) why in the heck would I say, "Yeah, sure officer, I passed that, let's do your breath test now----heck, you want some blood---I'll give you blood---or better yet, skip all of it and arrest me for probable cause". Law enforcement is as crooked as the government that oversees them.

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David Albertson 3 years, 5 months ago

Remember what happened last time we put a drunk Republican in charge?

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David Albertson 3 years, 5 months ago

Another hypocrite Republican driving a foreign car, speeding and obstructing the law. Wow, I'm shocked. That does it for me, I'm voting for Moore.

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ShePrecedes 3 years, 5 months ago

What I would love to see is a GOP candidate that would outlaw alcohol consumption. But it will never happen. I suspect many GOP candidates are toasted half the time.

Go to DC sometime and visit your Kansas Congressmen. What you witness will surprise you.

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SoundMind 3 years, 5 months ago

Hey, Journal World - the name of the guy who works for the KS Dept. of Revenu is KELLER - Jim KELLER - not "Zeller."

Good lord can you not even get the simplest things right?

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rockchalk1977 3 years, 5 months ago

Looks like the Democrat dirty tricks machine is running at full speed with this latest October surprise. Since Stephene Moron has lost the debate on issues, this is all she has left. How pathetic and desperate.

No Moore, it's not a family business.

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TinkyWinky 3 years, 5 months ago

Who in the Moore campaign staff leaked this to the paper 8 days before the election?

Or some journalist has been sitting on it until now, again 8 days before the election.

Maybe a little of both.

Media lapdogs

Yoder is going to win. I think this will have a backlash on Moore.

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HedleyLamarrr 3 years, 5 months ago

I think it's pretty obvious why Kevin would refuse the breath test.

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senegal66025 3 years, 5 months ago

Actually he could have told the officer he was going either to or from legislative business and therefore was immune from arrest. A speaker of the Kansas House did this in my county years ago.

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QuinnSutore 3 years, 5 months ago

Just another example of another liberal fascist cop trying to throw everything at a politician in the hopes that something sticks. Sobriety test doesn't work? Give him the breathalyzer! That doesn't work? Take a bottle of tequila, a funnel, and a taser, and voila, you have a drunk politician.

I don't see how liberals defend this when their patron saint Ted Kennedy has a blood type of Grey Goose.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 5 months ago

"Branson said he was under the impression that refusal to take a preliminary breath test triggered suspension of a driver’s license by the state"

Shouldn't the District Attorney be familiar with the law?

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chzypoof1 3 years, 5 months ago

Come on LJWORLD....you run this today, on the same day you give his opponent "air time" on your site? And she attacks him frequently in her comments?

I'm not a Dem or Repub...but that's justa tad slanted, dont ya say?

poof

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getreal 3 years, 5 months ago

I guess I can't understand why a lawmaker who supposedly had not been drinking would refuse the request of the officer to participate in a breath test? Quite an example he is setting for students at K.U., simply refuse the request of an officer.

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Joe Hyde 3 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps KHP procedures are such that the Trooper was required to ask Mr. Yoder to take both a field sobriety test (balance, eye tracking, etc.) and a field breathalizer test? If so, that procedure is excessive in my view.

While performing traffic stops for speeding -- especially at early morning hours like 2:30am -- KHP troopers and law enforcement officers everywhere are automatically suspicious that DUI was a component in the speeding violation. Troopers, probably more than most, are highly adept at using their own senses to detect drivers who pose a threat to themselves and others.

So if you remove the breathalizer machine from the equation, the fact that Mr. Yoder was allowed to continue on his way after this traffic stop, after a field sobriety check that involved a few minutes of visiting (which lets a Trooper further evaluate a driver's condition) this much tells me that in the Trooper's experienced judgment Mr. Yoder was good to go.

Maybe the procedure needs to be changed so that the two tests are kept separate until the second is deemed necessary by the officer. That is to say, if the physical and verbal field sobriety tests are passed then the DUI investigation forthwith ceases, there is no further testing done, the driver is free to go. However, if in the officer's judgment the field sobriety test indicates a dangerous level of impairment, then the investigation may proceed to breathalizer territory.

Requiring drivers to take a breathalizer test after they've passed a field sobriety test is unwarranted and I'm glad it's not being done that way in Kansas. Still, why make officers ticket people for "interfering with a DUI investigation" after a field sobriety test already determined they were not impaired? A procedure like that shows a lack of trust in the officer's judgment.

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macon47 3 years, 5 months ago

just more mudslinging dig up some old dirt mix it wth water and thow it typical politics

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Jake Esau 3 years, 5 months ago

I'm frequently on K-10 and I don't think I've seen a car on that highway going less than 80 at that late at night...

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lawrenceguy40 3 years, 5 months ago

Another lame attempt by the liberals at mudslinging. Though I would have preferred Patricia Lightner, Kevin Yoder still has more morals in his little finger than moore has. He chooses to uphold his Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights, despite the risk of prosecution by overzealous law enforcement. He doesn't support baby murder, as moore does. And he doesn't support mooching off of your neighbors.

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