Submitted: May 18, 2018
Defendant Conrad Kamwani's Motion to Suppress DENIED
Matthew F. Hicks Deputy Attorney General State of Delaware
Department of Justice Attorney for State of Delaware.
B. Shah, Esquire Attorney for Conrad Kamwani.
M. Davis, Judge.
Conrad Kamwani was arrested and charged with the offense of
driving under the influence ("DUI") on December 3,
2017. Mr. Kamwani thereafter filed a Motion to Suppress (the
"Motion") all evidence at trial, including the
results of a blood draw taken from Mr. Kamwani to determine
his blood alcohol concentration. The State opposed the
Motion. The Court held an evidentiary hearing on May 11, 2018
(the "Hearing"). At the end of the Hearing, the
Court asked the parties to submit additional written argument
on the issue of reasonable articulable suspicion. Mr.
Kamwani's counsel filed his letter brief ("Def.
Supplement") on May 15, 2018, and the State submitted
its letter brief ("State Supplement") on May 18,
Hearing and in the Def. Supplement, Mr. Kamwani concedes Mr.
Kamwani cannot factually demonstrate that the field sobriety
tests should be suppressed due to lack of voluntariness. Mr.
Kamwani also concedes that, even if the HGN field sobriety
test were suppressed, the Justice of the Peace Judge had
ample evidence to support a finding that probable cause
existed to issue a warrant to obtain a sample of Mr.
Kamwani's blood for suspicion of committing a DUI. Mr.
Kamwani continues to argue that Pfc. Shubra of the Delaware
River and Bay Authority Police lacked reasonable articulable
suspicion to extend Mr. Kamwani's traffic stop, have Mr.
Kamwani exit his car and perform field sobriety tests.
reasons set forth below, the Court finds that reasonable
articulable suspicion supported Officer Shubra's actions
on December 3, 2017. Accordingly, the Motion is DENIED.
December 3, 2017, Mr. Kamwani drove on John F. Kennedy
Memorial Highway and across the Delaware Memorial Bridge at
approximately 2:20 am. Officer Shubra was on routine patrol
in a marked car. Officer Shubra had parked on the New Jersey
side of the bridge and was watching traffic coming from New
Jersey going to Delaware. Officer Shubra noticed Mr. Kamwani
speed past at 85 mph in a 50 mph zone. Officer Shubra entered
traffic and pursued Mr. Kamwani. While following Mr.
Kamwani's car, Officer Shubra's radar recorded Mr.
Kamwani's speed in excess of 95 mph.
crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge, Officer Shubra
activated his emergency lights and pulled behind Mr. Kamwani.
Mr. Kamwani slowed his vehicle and almost came to a complete
stop on the highway. Officer Shubra then activated his siren
and Mr. Kamwani moved his car to the shoulder of the highway
Shubra approached the vehicle. Officer Shubra noticed that
Mr. Kamwani had only partially rolled down his window. In
addition, Officer Shubra testified that Mr. Kamwani failed to
make eye contact and provided "short, terse and direct
answers" to Officer Shubra's questions. Officer
Shubra also stated that Mr. Kamwani's speech trailed off
and needed to repeat himself so that Officer Shubra could
understand the answers.
Kamwani cooperated with Officer Shubra. Although licensed,
Mr. Kamwani did not have his driver's license in his
possession. Officer Shubra returned to his marked vehicle and
did a background check on Mr. Kamwani. While performing this
check, Officer Shubra discovered that Mr. Kamwani has
previous convictions for DUIs.
returning to Mr. Kamwani, Officer Shubra asked Mr. Kamwani to
step out of his vehicle to perform field sobriety tests.
Specifically, Officer Shubra said: "Alright Conrad, can
you do me a favor and step out for me? I want to talk to you
out here. We're going to run some tests and make sure
you're OK to drive home." When Mr. Kamwani exited the
vehicle, Officer Shubra smelled alcohol coming from Mr.
Kamwani. Officer Shubra testified that Mr. Kamwani's eyes
Shubra conducted the field sobriety tests. Mr. Kamwani
exhibited 6 out of 6 clues of intoxication on the Horizontal
Gaze Nystagmus ("HGN") test. On the walk and
turn test, Mr. Kamwani exhibited 2 out of 8 possible clues of
intoxication. Mr. Kamwani did not exhibit any possible clues
of intoxication during the One Leg Stand test.
Shubra asked Mr. Kamwani if he would take a Portable Breath
Test ("PBT"). Officer Shubra testified that he had
a calibrated PBT and that he followed standard procedures
when administering the PBT. Mr. Kamwani failed the PBT.
Officer Shubra placed Mr. Kamwani under arrest for DUI. After
placing Mr. Kamwani under arrest, Officer Shubra applied for
a warrant to take a blood draw from Mr. Kamwani. The Justice
of Peace Court Judge granted the warrant.
Court viewed the video recording of Mr. Kamwani's traffic
stop. The Court also reviewed the warrant issued for the
blood draw. Moreover, the Court, as the fact finder, observed
Officer Shubra during his testimony. The Court finds that
Officer Shubra is a very credible witness. Officer Shubra
responded directly to the questions asked and displayed a
positive demeanor while testifying. In addition, Officer
Shubra's testimony was supported by the video recording.
traffic stop constitutes a seizure for Fourth Amendment
purposes and is subject to constitutional
limitations. The State bears the burden of showing that
the "stop and any subsequent police investigation were
reasonable in the circumstances." First, the stop
must be supported by reasonable articulable suspicion that a
crime has occurred, is occurring, or is about to
occur. Second, the stop and ensuing inquiry must
be reasonably related in scope to the reason for initially
stopping the car. "[A]ny investigation of the vehicle
or its occupants beyond that required to complete the purpose
of the traffic stop constitutes a separate seizure that must
be supported by additional facts sufficient to justify the
demonstrate reasonable articulable suspicion, the officer
must be able to point to "specific and articulable facts
which, taken together with rational inferences from those
facts, reasonably warrant the intrusion." An officer is
entitled to use a person's prior criminal history when
determining whether reasonable articulable suspicion
exists. However, a prior criminal history
without more does not constitute reasonable articulable
suspicion that a crime has occurred, is occurring or is about
to occur. A reviewing court must consider the
totality of the circumstances "viewed through the eyes
of a reasonable, trained ...