The driver in an Aug. 26 car accident — in which a Kansas University student from Derby lost both of his legs — registered a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit, according to results released by the Lawrence Police Department.
A Ford Explorer driven by Kansas University student Julian M. Kuszmaul, 21, Lawrence, struck and pinned 18-year-old Colby Liston between Kuszmaul's vehicle and another. The vehicle Liston was standing behind was illegally parked in a driving lane of the 1600 block of Tennessee Street.
Test results that Lawrence police recently received showed Kuszmaul had a blood-alcohol level of 0.25 shortly following the accident. The legal limit to drive is 0.08.
An officer responding to the 1:30 a.m. accident “immediately observed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from Kuszmaul’s mouth when he spoke,” and “also observed a strong odor of burnt marijuana from Kuszmaul’s clothing and vehicle,” according to a police report. Though Kuszmaul told officers he slammed on the brakes as he approached the other car, police said they found no skid marks.
Following the accident, both of Liston's legs were amputated above the knee.
Kuszmaul was not arrested after the crash, but police will forward the test results to the Douglas County District Attorney's Office, said Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley.
The blood alcohol test results for the driver of the vehicle Liston was behind, Dustin A. Erickson, 21, Derby, registered at .02, below Kansas' legal limit of .08.
At the scene, Kuszmaul refused a breathalyzer test, but based on the circumstances of the incident, police were able to obtain blood tests from Kuszmaul involuntarily, McKinley said.
Under state law, a breathalyzer refusal triggers a one-year driver's license suspension, in addition to other sanctions.
A search of Douglas County Court records shows Kuszmaul has received at least five speeding tickets since 2006.