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COA finds sufficient evidence of boating while intoxicated

State v. Jeffrey S. Wein, 2021AP1696-98, 9/7/22, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publications) case activity (including briefs)

Wein appeals convictions of three civil offenses arising from what the state says was his driving of a pontoon boat while he was drunk. The only issue for each charge is whether he, rather than someone else on the boat, was driving.

Wein had a bench trial. Because these are civil traffic offenses, the state was required to prove each element not beyond a reasonable doubt, but to the lower standard of “clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence.” Wis. Stat. § 345.45. The court of appeals also must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the state. See State v. Poellinger, 153 Wis. 2d 493, 501, 451 N.W.2d 752 (1990). Here, there was quite a bit of evidence that Wein was driving: the officers who stopped him saw him sitting in the captain’s chair when the boat was in motion, and he made various statements both to the officers and at trial that seemed to be admissions to driving it. (¶¶19-22).

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