State v. Ronald L. Wille, 2007 WI App 27, PFR filed 2/28/07
For Wille: Jerome A. Maeder, Benjamin Welch
¶31 … The State was under no obligation to establish the level of alcohol in Meshak’s blood at the time of the accident, or even to prove that he was intoxicated to the degree required for a conviction under Wis. Stat. § 346.63 (“Operating under influence of intoxicant or other drug”). The absence of other drugs in Meshak’s system also was not an element of the State’s case. As we have discussed, the State needed to prove only that Meshak’s consumption of alcohol beverages procured by Wille was “a substantial factor” in causing Meshak’s death. We conclude there was more than sufficient evidence presented at trial to show that Meshak drove away from the party in a highly intoxicated state. We therefore harbor no reasonable doubt that jurors would have found that the State established the necessary causal link between Meshak’s consumption of alcohol and his death even if they had not heard the test result evidence.