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Wofford v. City of Laramie

Supreme Court of Wyoming

June 10, 2016

TAYLOR WOFFORD, Petitioner
v.
CITY OF LARAMIE, Respondent. KARA WALTERS, Petitioner
v.
CITY OF LARAMIE, Respondent.

         Original Proceedings Petitions for Writ of Review District Court of Albany County The Honorable Jeffrey A. Donnell, Judge

         Representing Petitioners:

          R. Michael Vang of R. Michael Vang, P.C., Laramie, Wyoming.

         Representing Respondent:

          Holli Austin-Belaski of City of Laramie Attorney Office, Laramie Wyoming.

          Before BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.

          FOX, Justice

         [¶1] The City of Laramie's Municipal Ordinance 10.24.030(H) created a class of aggravated offenders for those convicted of driving while under the influence with an alcohol concentration of 0.15% or more. Taylor Wofford and Kara Walters were both convicted of driving while under the influence and sentenced to the mandatory minimum pursuant to the aggravated offender ordinance for alcohol concentrations above 0.15%. Their convictions were upheld on appeal to the Albany County District Court. Mr. Wofford and Ms. Walters then filed separate petitions for writ of review. The cases were consolidated, and the petitions were granted as to the issues set forth below. We find that Laramie Municipal Ordinance 10.24.030(H) flouts the uniformly applicable statutes governing traffic regulations, and remand to the district court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         ISSUES

         [¶2] This Court accepted the following issues for review:

Wofford v. City of Laramie -- No. S-15-0226:
1. Is the Defendant's BAC level an element of an "aggravated offender" DWUI charge pursuant to LMO § 10.24.030(H), which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt?
2. Can the City of Laramie create a minimum mandatory jail sentence for BAC results of 0.15% or more, which exceed the punishment allowed for the same BAC level under Wyoming law?
Walters v. City of Laramie -- No. S-15-0227:
3. Did the trial court violate Ms. Walters' due process rights, where the jury was instructed to find beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant's BAC result was eight one-hundredths of one percent (0.08%) or more, however, the Defendant was sentenced to a minimum mandatory thirty (30) day jail sentence for allegedly having a BAC result of fifteen one-hundredths of one percent (0.15%) or more in violation of the City of Laramie's "aggravated offender" DUI charge? Because the second issue presented by Mr. ...

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