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Dattanie v. State

Superior Court of Delaware

November 20, 2013

Neel Dattanie
v.
State of Delaware

Submitted: August 21, 2013.

On Appeal from a Decision of the Court of Common Pleas. AFFIRMED.

Louis B. Ferrara, Esquire Ferrara & Haley, Attorney for Appellant.

Daniel B. McBride, Esquire Deputy Attorney General State of Delaware Department of Justice, Attorney for Appellee

Dear Counsel:

I. INTRODUCTION

Neel Dattanie ("Appellant") appeals his conviction in the Court of Common Pleas for Driving Under the Influence in violation of 21 Del. C. § 4177(a) based on several arguments relating to the admission of evidence and the behavior of the trial judge. This Court finds none of the arguments presented by Appellant, individually or collectively, warrant the decision of the Court of Common Pleas to be reversed.

The judgment of the Court of Common Pleas dated October 16, 2012 is therefore AFFIRMED.

II. STATEMENT OF BASIC FACTS[1]

On October 14, 2011, at 1:38 a.m., Trooper Mac Evans ("Trooper Evans") of the Delaware State Police was dispatched to the scene of an accident at the intersection of Delaware Routes 7 and 72.[2] The weather conditions were rainy. When Trooper Evans arrived at the scene, he saw one car with heavy front-end damage and deployed airbags in the left lane of Route 7[3] and another car with signs of damage located slightly off the roadway.[4] Appellant was standing next to his car.[5] During discussion with Trooper Evans Appellant made certain incriminating statements indicating that he was the driver.[6] Trooper Evans administered field sobriety tests to Appellant and subsequently arrested him for Driving Under the Influence.[7]

III. PROCEDURAL POSTURE

A hearing on a Motion to Suppress filed by Appellant was held on October 16, 2012. The court denied the Motion as well as a subsequent "Motion for a Mistrial" (so styled by Appellant) to vacate the ruling on the Motion to Suppress, and a bench trial ensued.[8] Appellant was found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of 21 Del. C. § 4177(a). This appeal followed.[9]

IV. PARTIES' CONTENTIONS

a. Appellant's Contentions


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