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McVaugh v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

March 19, 2014

ANDREW R. McVAUGH, Defendant Below, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee

Submitted February 26, 2014

Case Closed April 4, 2014.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been designated as "Table of Decisions Without Published Opinions." in the Atlantic Reporter.

Court Below -- Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for New Castle County. I.D. 1211017937.

Before HOLLAND, BERGER and RIDGELY, Justices.

OPINION

Randy J. Holland, Justice

This 19th day of March 2014, it appears to the Court that:

1) The defendant-appellant, Andrew R. McVaugh (" McVaugh" ) appeals from bench trial in the Superior Court convicting him of felony Driving Under the Influence, two counts of Vehicular Assault Second, and a stop sign violation.

2) McVaugh raises one claim on appeal.[1] He argues that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his Motion to Suppress because he did not voluntarily consent to have his blood withdrawn.

3) We conclude that his claim is without merit.[2] Therefore, the judgments of the Superior Court must be affirmed.

4) On the evening of November 22, 2012, Corporal Robert Kunicki (" Officer Kunicki" ) of the Delaware State Police responded to a report of a vehicle collision on Limestone Road in Hockessin, Delaware. When Officer Kunicki arrived at the collision scene, he found a Nissan in the roadway with significant damage to the front end of the car. Officer Kunicki also observed a Mazda with rear-end damage occupied by two people approximately 300 feet away from the Nissan.

5) McVaughn was seated on a curb near the Nissan. McVaugh advised Officer Kunicki that he ran the red light at the intersection and struck the vehicle in front of him. McVaugh had bloodshot, glassy eyes, his speech was slurred, and there was an odor of alcohol emanating from his breath. Officer Kunicki observed an open bottle of vodka on the rear floorboard of the Nissan and McVaugh admitted that he had consumed alcohol prior to driving. Because McVaugh complained of shoulder pain, and because Officer Kunicki was concerned that McVaugh may have suffered a head injury, McVaugh was transported to the Christiana Hospital. McVaugh was cooperative throughout his encounter with Officer Kunciki. At the hospital, Officer Kunicki requested that McVaugh provide a sample of his blood for chemical analysis because, based on his observations and interactions with McVaugh, it appeared that alcohol was a contributing factor in the collision. A nurse provided a consent form for a blood draw, which Officer Kunicki filled out and McVaugh signed.

6) As a result of this investigation, McVaugh was charged with one count of driving under the influence, two counts of vehicular assault second degree, and one stop sign violation. McVaugh filed a Motion to Suppress the blood ...


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