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Brehmer trial continues

Police officers take the stand on second day of testimony

Christine Metz

Steamboat Springs police officers testified as to why they refused to let Todd Jeffery Brehmer take a blood-alcohol content test about two hours after being pulled over on suspicion of speeding.

Three police officers and a paramedic testified in the second day of the trial for the 44-year-old Steamboat man charged with fleeing police after a routine traffic stop.

Deputy district attorney Erick Knaus has one more witness to call before the prosecution rests its case today. The defense has four possible witnesses it could call to the stand. The trial is scheduled to end today, but the jury could continue deliberation until Thursday.

Police Officers Damien Baynes and Dale Coyner, Sgt. Rich Brown and paramedic Mike Hirshman testified Tuesday.

Brehmer is charged with a DUI, vehicular eluding, resisting arrest and speeding.

Larry Combs, Brehmer’s attorney, questioned officers as to why they refused to give Brehmer a blood test when he requested one in the early morning hours of Sept. 16.

Brehmer was pulled over Sept. 16 for driving 38 mph in a 25 mph zone, Baynes told the jury Monday.

Baynes testified Tuesday that Brehmer left the scene of the traffic stop when Baynes returned to his patrol car; the DUI investigations were not complete.

Police followed Brehmer to his house and arrested him in his garage. Brehmer was cut on the arm during the arrest.

By the time Brown arrived on scene, Brehmer already had been handcuffed and an ambulance had been called. As Brehmer was taken toward the ambulance at the bottom of his driveway, Brown said he continually refused medical treatment and a blood test.

Under Colorado law, drivers automatically consent to a blood or breath test when they are issued a driver’s license and not consenting to a test could result in a year’s suspension of a license.

Brown said the police advised Brehmer of that law and warned he could lose his driver’s license for a year.

Brown said it was not until Brehmer was able to talk to his wife on the telephone at the hospital, about 2:16 a.m., that Brehmer agreed to treatment of his arm and then demanded that he have a blood alcohol test taken. It was the first time Brehmer was permitted to speak to his wife since the incident began, Brown said.

Brown said the officers would not give Brehmer a test because of the amount of time that had passed since the traffic stop, which occurred about 12:50 a.m., and because of Brehmer’s previous repeated refusal of a blood or breath test.

“There had been an extended period of time at that point, and we decided it was a refusal,” Brown said.

Coyner, Baynes, Brown and Hirshman all said they detected the odor of alcohol coming from Brehmer’s breath.

Hirshman, who told the jury he helped bandage Brehmer, said Brehmer was acting violently and that there was no doubt in his mind that he had consumed alcohol that night.


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