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State v. Caibaiosai
Wisconsin Supreme Court
363 N.W.2d 574 (1985)
Gary Caibaiosai (defendant) had been drinking when he crashed his motorcycle. Caibaiosai survived, but his passenger, Janet Tunkieicz, died instantly. Two hours later, Caibaiosai’s blood-alcohol content still registered 0.13 percent. He was charged under a Wisconsin statute that makes operating a vehicle while intoxicated a felony homicide if someone dies as a result, even if the operator’s intoxication did not cause the death. The trial judge instructed that the jury need only find that Caibaiosai’s operation of the motorcycle was a substantial factor in Tunkieicz’s death. The judge specified, “It is not required that the death was caused by any drinking of alcohol or by any negligent or improper operation of the vehicle. What is required is that the injury was caused by [Caibaiosai’s] operation of the vehicle.” The jury convicted. Caibaiosai appealed, challenging the statute on constitutional grounds.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Steinmetz, J.)
Dissent (Abrahamson, J.)
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