Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summary 2008 WY 73

Summary of Decision issued June 26, 2008

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Case Name: Johnson v. City of Laramie

Citation: 2008 WY 73

Docket Number: S-07-0093

Petition for Writ of Review from the District Court of Albany County, the Jeffrey A. Donnell, Judge.

Representing Appellant: R. Michael Vang of Brown & Hiser, LLC, Laramie, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee: Ashley Castor, Assistant City Attorney, Laramie City Attorney’s Office.

Facts/Discussion: Johnson was arrested for driving under the influence. He filed a motion to suppress on the grounds that the breath analysis instrument was not in compliance with the Wyoming Chemical Testing Program’s rules and regulations. He argued that annually meant once every 365 days. The prosecution maintained that annually meant once per calendar year. Johnson entered a conditional guilty plea reserving the right to appeal the municipal court’s ruling on his motion to suppress.
The Court questioned the wisdom of accepting a conditional guilty plea in this instance because a conviction potentially could have been obtained using other existing evidence. The Court has stated that a trial court should only approve a conditional appeal if assured that the decision of the appellate court will dispose of the case.
A year is statutorily defined by the Wyoming legislature as “a calendar year.” Had the authors of the Wyoming Testing Program’s rules and regulations not wanted to follow the existing statutory definition, they easily could have specified that testing occur at least once every 365 days.

Holding: The Court found the term “annually” as used in the Wyoming Chemical Testing Program’s rules and regulations is unambiguous. It refers to once every calendar year.


J. Golden delivered the decision.

Link: .

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. Please note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you pinpoint cite to a quote, you should cite to this paragraph number rather than to any page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library.]

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