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Evidence was sufficient to prove OWI based on prescribed medication

County of Eau Claire v. Susan M. Sandas, 2015AP612 & 2015AP613, 1/20/16, District 3 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The evidence was sufficient to prove Sandas was operating while intoxicated due to her use of Oxycodone and Fluoxitine despite the testimony from her primary care doctor that he had no evidence she was abusing her prescriptions and testimony from a forensic scientist that those medications wouldn’t have caused the nystagmus observed by the arresting officer.

¶12    …[T]he record contains ample credible evidence to sustain the jury’s verdict finding Sandas guilty of operating under the influence of a drug. The County had to prove by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence that Sandas drove or operated a motor vehicle and did so while under the influence of a drug to a degree that rendered her incapable of safely driving. See Wis. Stat. §§ 346.63(1)(a), 800.08(3). The testimony at trial revealed Sandas was driving erratically, had glazed eyes, was unsteady on her feet, displayed signs of impairment during field sobriety tests, and tested positive for Oxycodone and Fluoxetine, which could cause impairment even at therapeutic levels. While Dr. Alfuth and Thomas Burr provided contradictory testimony, it is the role of the jury, not an appellate court, “to fairly resolve conflicts in the testimony, to weigh the evidence, and to draw reasonable inferences from basic facts to ultimate facts.” See State v. Poellinger, 153 Wis. 2d 493, 506, 451 N.W.2d 752 (1990).

There was also credible evidence from a citizen witness that Sandas drove left of the center line; the County wasn’t required to corroborate that evidence through a law enforcement witness. (¶¶13-14).

Sandas’s other arguments are rejected out of hand as inadequately briefed: “Sandas fails to provide citation to the record on appeal or legal authority and ignores our standard of review. She merely takes umbrage with the circuit court’s rulings.” (¶15).

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