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Left Turn Against Red Light Under the Influence of Alcohol

The defendant is charged by Information with the offense of Driving a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol in violation of 21 Del. C. § 4177(a), and Disregarding a Traffic Control Device in violation of 21 Del. C. § 4107(a).

A trial was held on these charges in the Court of Common Pleas on February 20, 2001.

At the conclusion of the evidentiary phase, the defendant moved to exclude the results of the intoxilizer because the State failed to establish the certification documents showed that the machine was functioning properly on the date the test was administered.

The Court afforded the parties an opportunity to submit post-trial briefing. This is the Court's decision after written submissions.

The facts which give rise to these proceedings indicate that on June 7, 2000, in the County of New Castle State of Delaware, Trooper X was stopped at a red light on Route 4 when the defendant approached the intersection with a red light governing her direction of travel and she proceeded to turn left against the red light.

Trooper X followed the defendant where she observed the defendant proceed through a second red light. Defendant's vehicle was stopped, and after administering a series of field tests, the trooper determined there were objective facts to believe she was under the influence of alcohol.

Defendant was detained and transported to Troop # 6 where an intoxilizer test was administered. the certification logs offered by the State to support its position that the machine was functioning properly indicates a testing reading calibration for .20, a reading of .19; and for a calibration reading of a .30, a reading of .28.

Based upon these readings, defendant challenged the accuracy of the machine on the basis that the machine was not within a .05 percent acceptable deviation, therefore, the Court should not admit the results.

The State argues that the decimal point calculation on the machine does not compute to the thousandths point, therefore, the reading, if taken to the next decimal point, would be within the .05 percent of the target range.

The defendant has not provided any support for her argument that the machine was not functioning properly on June 7 2000, when the test was administered.

Contrary, the State has submitted a brief outlining support where this Court has admitted the results of an intoxilizer on at least three prior occasions where the machine showed a .28 reading for a target value of .30 and a .9 reading reading for a target value of .20.

The State further argues that the intoxilizer has been held to be a scientifically reliable method of testing a person's blood alcohol content. Relying upon Anderson v. State, Del. Super., 1995 Westlaw 717245 (1995).

Based upon the evidence in the record and the submission in post-trial briefing, I am satisfied that the machine was functioning properly on the date that the test was administered, and the test results are hereby admitted. the test results for the defendant show a blood alcohol content reading of .18.

Accordingly, the defendant is hereby found Guilty of the offense of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol.

Additionally, there was no evidence presented by the defense on the issue of Disregarding a Traffic Control Device. Therefore, a Guilty finding is hereby entered on that charge.

The Clerk will schedule this matter for sentencing as soon as practically possible.