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Rhoads v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

December 20, 2018

WILLOTT HAYNES RHOADS, IV, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

          Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County The Honorable Catherine R. Rogers, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane M. Lozano, State Public Defender; Kirk A. Morgan, Chief Appellate Counsel; Desiree Wilson, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Ms. Wilson.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Deputy Attorney General; Caitlin F. Harper, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Katherine A. Adams, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Ms. Adams.

          Before DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.

          GRAY, JUSTICE.

         [¶1] Appellant Willott Haynes Rhoads, IV, entered into a conditional plea agreement. He pled guilty to fourth offense felony driving while under the influence (DWUI) and reserved his right to challenge the district court's ruling that the lookback is to the date of conviction when determining whether a fourth DWUI occurred in a ten-year period. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 31-5-233(e). The plea agreement resulted in his conviction under Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 31-5-233(b) and (e). We reverse.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] We restate the issue:

Did the district court err, as a matter of law, when it concluded the lookback for a fourth offense DWUI is to the date of the conviction and not to the date of the underlying offense?

         FACTS

         [¶3] On October 23, 2016, Laramie County Deputy Sheriff Mark Yocum stopped Mr. Rhoads for speeding. The deputy believed Mr. Rhoads was driving impaired, conducted field sobriety tests, and arrested Mr. Rhoads for DWUI. Mr. Rhoads had three prior relevant DWUI offenses:

DWUI #1:
Committed August 25, 2006
Convicted January 25, ...

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