Thursday, December 20, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 161

Summary of Decision December 20, 2012

Justice Hill delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.



Docket Numbers: S-12-0074; S-12-0075


Appeal from the District Court of Albany County, Honorable Jeffrey A. Donnell, Judge.

Representing Appellants: R. Michael Vang of Fleener & Vang, LLC, Laramie, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; Robin Sessions Cooley, Deputy Attorney General; Douglas J. Moench, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Michael T. Kahler, Senior Assistant Attorney General.

Date of Decision: December 20, 2012

Facts: This opinion encompasses two separate appeals from two separate appellants, but both appeals challenged the implied consent advisement as affected by the same Laramie ordinance. While the appeals have not been consolidated, we join them for the purposes of opinion.

Kyle Regan and Joseph Parsons, in separate incidents, were both arrested for driving while under the influence (DWUI). Following their arrests, each appellant consented to chemical testing. Regan’s test showed that he had a 0.26 percent blood alcohol concentration, and Parsons’ test showed that he had a 0.16 percent blood alcohol concentration. Based on the test results, each appellant had his driver’s license administratively suspended. Each appellant likewise challenged the administrative suspension, claiming that his consent to chemical testing was invalid because he had been threatened with jail time under a local Laramie ordinance if he did not consent to the testing. In each case, the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) issued an order upholding the suspension, and each appellant appealed that order.

Issues: Regan and Parsons both present the same issues on appeal:

I. This matter should be stayed pending resolution of pending declaratory judgment action involving enforcement of Laramie Municipal Ordinance 1592.

II. [Were Appellants] read proper implied consent advisements after being arrested for a DWUI under Laramie Enrolled Ordinance 1592?

III. Does the creation of minimum mandatory jail time for an alleged refusal to submit to a chemical test under Laramie’s new DWUI constitute a “critical stage” for purposes of application of the Wyoming right to an attorney and distinguish the case from Mogard v. City of Laramie, 2001 WY 88, ¶¶ 26-31, 32 P.3d 313, 324-25 (Wyo. 2001)?

IV. Are Laramie’s new drinking and driving laws in conflict with State law and therefore preempted?

Holdings: The OAH ruled in accordance with law in determining that Regan and Parsons were given the statutorily required implied consent advisements, and it properly declined to rule on their remaining contentions as beyond the scope of the administrative proceeding and outside the jurisdiction of the OAH. Affirmed.

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

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