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COMMONWEALTH v. MILES (05/11/73)

decided: May 11, 1973.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
MILES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. John S. Miles, No. 200 August Term, 1971.

COUNSEL

John M. Yarema, with him Martin H. Philip, for appellant.

Stuart A. Liner, Assistant Attorney General, with him Anthony J. Maiorana, Assistant Attorney General, Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, and Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 8 Pa. Commw. Page 545]

On July 25, 1971, on Route 329 in East Allen Township, Northampton County, John S. Miles (Miles) was apprehended by a Pennsylvania State Policeman for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a violation of Section 1037 of The Vehicle Code, Act of April 29, 1959, P.L. 58, as amended, 75 P.S. § 1037, and, after being so charged, refused to submit to a breathalyzer test as provided in the so-called "Implied Consent Law," Section 624.1(a) of the Code, 75 P.S. § 624.1(a).*fn1 Having received a report of

[ 8 Pa. Commw. Page 546]

    this refusal from the district justice involved, the Secretary of Transportation, under Section 624.1(a), suspended Miles' operator's license for six months. Miles appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County which, after a de novo hearing, denied the appeal. This appeal by Miles followed.

To explain the circumstances leading to and surrounding Miles' refusal to submit to the breathalyzer test, we adopt the following material findings of fact made by the court below:

"1. On July 25, 1971, while operating his motor vehicle, Defendant was involved in an automobile accident on Pa. Route 329, East Allen Township.

"4. Approximately 15 minutes after arriving at the scene, Trooper Tretter asked a group of bystanders who the driver of the other vehicle was, at which time John S. Miles, Defendant herein, came forward and stated that he was.

"6. During the investigation, Trooper Tretter had ample opportunity to observe Defendant's demeanor. In this regard, Trooper Tretter testified that Defendant's eyes appeared bloodshot, that his speech was slurred, that he had difficulty maintaining his balance while standing and ...


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