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COMMONWEALTH v. SLIDER (06/21/74)

decided: June 21, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
SLIDER, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, No. 2313 of 1971, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Ruth L. Slider.

COUNSEL

Eugene A. Kestenbaum, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.

Alan M. Rubenstein, Assistant District Attorney, Stephen B. Harris, First Assistant District Attorney, and Kenneth G. Biehn, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Jacobs, J.

Author: Jacobs

[ 229 Pa. Super. Page 94]

On the evening of November 23, 1971, appellant's Ford station wagon was observed by a police officer to be weaving back and forth across both lanes of traffic. Upon stopping the vehicle, the officer identified the driver as the appellant, Ruth L. Slider. The officer observed that the appellant's eyes were "red and watery" and noted a strong odor of alcohol. After requesting the appellant to get out of the vehicle, the officer observed her "staggering walk" and slurred speech. The officer then arrested the appellant for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquors.*fn1

Thereafter, appellant was transported to the Quakertown Police Barracks where, at the direction of the arresting officer and with the consent of the appellant, Trooper Aceto of the Pennsylvania State Police administered a chemical test of appellant's breath. The results of this test indicated a blood alcohol content of .25.

At a jury trial appellant was found guilty of the charge and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 45

[ 229 Pa. Super. Page 95]

    days. Post-trial motions were denied by the court en banc and this appeal followed.

Appellant's sole contention on appeal addresses the competency of the evidence presented at trial to show that the trooper who administered the breathalyzer test was qualified to do so, and that the equipment was of an approved type.

Section 624.1 of The Vehicle Code*fn2 authorizes a chemical test of a subject's breath provided that "the test is administered by qualified personnel and with equipment approved by the secretary . . . . Qualified personnel means a physician or police officer who has received training in the use of such equipment in a training program approved by the secretary . . . ."

On direct examination, Trooper Aceto testified that he had undergone a 40-hour course of instruction in the use of the breathalyzer under the direction of the Commissioner of State Police and that he had received a certificate from the Commonwealth evidencing his successful completion of the ...


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