State v. Davis, 2103013007

CourtCourt of Common Pleas of Delaware
Writing for the CourtHon. Honorable Carl C. Danberg, Chief Judge
PartiesSTATE OF DELAWARE, v. DARIO DAVIS, Defendant.
Decision Date29 April 2022
Docket Number2103013007

STATE OF DELAWARE,
v.

DARIO DAVIS, Defendant.

No. 2103013007

Court of Common Pleas of Delaware, New Castle

April 29, 2022


Submitted: March 24, 2022

Arqum Rashid, Esq. Deputy Attorney General Attorney for the State of Delaware

Dario Davis Pro Se Defendant

DECISION AFTER TRIAL

Hon. Honorable Carl C. Danberg, Chief Judge

Dario Davis ("Defendant") was arrested and charged on March 22, 2021, with the following offenses: Driving a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol in violation of 21 Del. C. § 4177, Speeding in Excess of 55 mph on a 4-Lane or Divided Roadway in violation of 21 Del. C. § 4169, and Operating a Vehicle with Improper Window Tinting in violation of 21 Del. C. § 4313. Trial was held on March 24, 2022.

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The Court heard testimony from Corporal Stephen Douglas ("Douglas"), the arresting officer, and Defendant. At the conclusion of the trial, the Court reserved decision. This is the Court's Final Decision After Trial.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

At trial, Douglas testified as to the events surrounding Defendant's arrest as follows: Douglas was on a routine patrol traveling on Route 13 northbound when Defendant's vehicle passed him in the right lane going at a high rate of speed. Douglas clocked Defendant's vehicle going 115 mph in a 55 mph zone.[1] Once Douglas caught up to Defendant's vehicle, he activated his emergency lights and pulled the vehicle over. Defendant stopped the vehicle appropriately and promptly and pulled over without any obvious difficulty.[2] Upon contact with Defendant, Douglas noticed Defendant's eyes were glassy and bloodshot, and he detected an odor of alcohol. Douglas asked Defendant if he had consumed any alcoholic beverages and Defendant indicated in the affirmative. Defendant stated he had a can of something a friend had given him and two hard apple ciders.

Then, Douglas instructed Defendant to perform the ABC Test starting with D and ending with S, which Defendant failed to do properly.[3] Following the ABC

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Test, Douglas instructed Defendant to perform the Counting Test by counting backward from 86 to 70, which Defendant also failed to do properly.[4] Because Defendant was unable to properly perform the ABC Test and the Counting Test, Douglas asked Defendant to step out of the vehicle and perform the HGN Test, which Defendant agreed to do. This was captured on the NVR recording.[5] Douglas testified he was able to identify 6 out of 6 clues as Defendant performed the HGN test, which indicated a probability that Defendant's alcohol content was at or above .08. Douglas arrested Defendant and brought him to Troop 9.

Once at Troop 9, Douglas monitored Defendant for twenty minutes before administering the Intoxilyzer Test. Douglas testified that the intoxilyzer was working properly and accurately on the day in question evidenced by the certification sheets signed by the State Chemist both before and after the time Defendant was arrested.[6] After the monitoring period ended, Douglas administered the Intoxilyzer Test; the results showed Defendant had an alcohol concentration of .206.[7]

Defendant also testified at trial, but, he did not contest to the facts as presented by Douglas. Defendant did not deny he had told Douglas he had consumed alcohol

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on the day he was arrested but claimed his breath smelled of alcohol because he is on a keto diet.[8] Further, Defendant stated that his keto diet could have impacted his Intoxilyzer Test results, but he did not provide evidence supporting such assertion.[9]

LEGAL STANDARD

The State has the burden of proving each and every element of an offense beyond a reasonable double.[10] "A reasonable doubt is not a vague, impulsive or imaginable doubt, but such a doubt as intelligent, reasonable and impartial people may honestly entertain after a conscience consideration of the case."[11] A reasonable doubt "means a substantial well-founded doubt arising from a candid and impartial consideration of all the evidence or want of evidence."[12]

The Court, as the trier of fact, must assess the credibility of the witnesses and reconcile conflict if present in the testimony and "if reasonably possible, so as to make one harmonious story."[13] "The Court takes into consideration the demeanor of the witnesses, their apparent fairness in giving their testimony, their opportunities in hearing and knowing the facts about which they testified, and any bias or interest they may have concerning the nature of the case."[14]

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Under Title 21 Del. C. § 4177(a)(1), "no person shall drive a vehicle .. . when the person is under the influence of alcohol."[15] Section 4177(a)(4) states "such person shall not drive a motor vehicle when the person's alcohol concentration is .08 or more."[16] To be found guilty under § 4177, the State must prove the defendant was under the influence of alcohol at the time of driving beyond a reasonable doubt.

Under Title 21 Del. C. § 4169, "where no special hazard exists, the following speeds shall be lawful, but any speed in excess of such limits shall be absolute evidence that the speed is not reasonable or prudent and that it is unlawful [for] all types of vehicles: ... (5) 55 miles per hour on 4-lane roadways and on divided roadways".[17]

Under Title 21 Del. C. § 4313, "no person shall operate any motor vehicle on any public highway, road or street with the front windshield, the side windows to the immediate right and left of the driver...

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