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State v. Laboy

Supreme Court of Delaware

June 15, 2015

STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff-Below, Appellant,
v.
ANDY LABOY, Defendant-Below, Appellee

Submitted June 10, 2015

Case Closed July 1, 2015.

Court Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for New Castle County.

REVERSED AND REMANDED.

Karen V. Sullivan, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, for Appellant.

David J. J. Facciolo, Esquire, Minster & Facciolo, LLC, Wilmington, Delaware, for Appellee.

Before STRINE, Chief Justice; HOLLAND and VALIHURA, Justices.

OPINION

Page 563

STRINE, Chief Justice.

I. INTRODUCTION

Andy Laboy was arrested in July 2012 and indicted on charges of driving under the influence. He pled guilty, admitting in his plea colloquy with the Superior Court and his plea agreement that he was eligible to be sentenced as a third-time offender under 21 Del. C. § 4177 (the " DUI statute" ) because he had been convicted of two previous DUIs. The Superior Court nevertheless sentenced Laboy as a first-time offender. The State now appeals, arguing that the Superior Court erred in disregarding his first two DUI offenses.

We agree. The Superior Court did not have discretion to ignore Laboy's previous DUI convictions under the DUI statute. The statutory framework established by the General Assembly sets out the minimum penalties a judge must impose on third-time offenders like Laboy. It was thus error for the Superior Court to impose a sentence that fell below these requirements. We therefore reverse and remand so that Laboy can be sentenced in accordance with the DUI statute as a third-time offender.

II. BACKGROUND

Laboy was arrested on July 28, 2012, on suspicion of DUI. Laboy's BAC was measured by an intoxilyzer as 0.15. Laboy did not dispute before the Superior Court that this offense was his third DUI: he pled guilty to his first DUI in Maryland District Court on August 27, 1999, and was found guilty by a Delaware jury of a second DUI on January 16, 2001. Because of his previous offense, Laboy was sentenced in 2001 by the Court of Common ...


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