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SCOW to review procedure for challenging prior OWI convictions

State v. Alfonzo C. Loayza, 2018AP2066-CR, petition for review of a per curiam opinion granted 6/16/20; case activity

Issue (from the State’s petition for review):

It is well established that a DOT record is competent proof of a defendant’s prior conviction and can therefore be used to enhance the defendant’s sentence. It is also  well established  that a defendant may challenge the existence of a  conviction listed on a DOT record. But currently, there is no accepted procedure for how a defendant should challenge the existence of a conviction listed in a DOT record and what burden he must satisfy to make a DOT record so unreliable that it no longer qualifies as competent proof of the conviction.

Do the lack of a judgment of conviction for a prior offense and other documents that “support the inference” that the conviction does not exist render a Wisconsin DOT driving record that lists the conviction so unreliable that it is no longer competent proof of the conviction?

Apparently the circuit court relied on a DOT record and documents from Loayza’s 1991 California OWI conviction, which mentioned prior convictions, as proof of his 1990 California OWI conviction. The court of appeals reversed due to the absence of a judgment of conviction for the 1990 California offense. The State asks SCOW to hold that “to overcome a DOT record listing an OWI conviction, a defendant must do more than point to the absence of a judgment of conviction for that offense and evidence that supports an inference that the conviction does not exist. He or she should have to prove that the DOT record is inaccurate and that the conviction does not exist.”

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