P. Craig Silva Williams, Porter, Day & Neville P.C.
Donald Earl Young v. The State of Wyoming 2016 WY 70
S-15-0232 July 12, 2016
This case stems from the arrest of Donald Earl Young on the charge of driving under the influence (DUI). From the period of time when Mr. Young stopped drinking, to the point his blood alcohol level was ultimately tested, approximately one and a half hours had passed. Once tested, Mr. Young’s blood alcohol concentration was determined to be .079%, which is under the legal limit. At the trial, the State called Moss Kent, a forensic toxicologist, who testified that based on retrograde extrapolation, Mr. Young’s blood alcohol concentration at the time he was driving was between .095% and .124%, which range is above the legal limit of .08%. The jury, having been presented with two options, found Mr. Young guilty of being too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle and not guilty of driving with an alcohol concentration of .08% or greater. Mr. Young appealed arguing Mr. Kent should not have been able to testify as to his retrograde blood alcohol concentration. The Wyoming Supreme Court discussed several procedural reasons to allow for the admission of the evidence, which are not legally significant. The case is significant in that it tacitly has approved retrograde extrapolation to prove blood alcohol concentration.
Ryan Russell Webster v. The State of Wyoming
2016 WY 76
August 2, 2016
Ryan Webster stole a car in Termopolis and drove it through Wyoming into Colorado, where he was arrested. He was charged in both Hot Springs and Laramie Counties as well as in Colorado. Both of the Wyoming charges were dismissed because Mr. Webster, in accordance with the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, was not brought to trial in Wyoming within 180 days. Hot Springs County refiled the charges where Mr. Webster was convicted and Mr. Webster appealed. The Wyoming Supreme Court reversed. The Wyoming Supreme Court held that the subsequent prosecution in Hot Springs County was barred by res judicata since the charges had been previously dismissed with prejudice.
Century Surety Company v. Jim Hipner, LLC and Huey Brock
2016 WY 81
August 17, 2016
This case involves a certified question from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Jim Hipner, LLC obtained a policy of insurance for $2 million with Century Surety Company. There was a notification provision in the policy which required that notification of an “occurrence” be done in writing. Failure to properly provide the carrier with notice of an “occurrence” under the policy would result in an exclusion from coverage.
An “occurrence” triggering coverage transpired in North Dakota on March 31, 2011. On the day of the accident, Jim Hipner reported the claim to his primary carriers (Willis of Wyoming and Great West Casualty Company). No one, however, contacted Century Surety Company, the carrier on the umbrella policy. The injuries exceeded the primary policies. Century was not notified until...