Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation v. Jack F. Hill, No. 284 January Term, 1976.
Emmanuel H. Dimitriou, with him G. Alan Kramer, and Lieberman, Dimitriou & Kramer, for appellant.
John L. Heaton, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr. and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
Pursuant to Section 624.1(a) of The Vehicle Code,*fn1 the Commonwealth's Secretary of Transportation suspended the appellant, Jack F. Hill's operating privileges
for six months by reason of Hill's refusal to submit to a Breathalizer test. The Honorable Warren K. Hess, retired Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, after hearing, dismissed Hill's appeal from the suspension action and Hill has appealed Judge Hess's order to this Court. We affirm.
Section 624.1(a) provides pertinently:
If any person is placed under arrest and charged with the operation of a motor vehicle . . . while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and is thereafter requested to submit to a chemical test and refuses to do so, the test shall not be given but the secretary may suspend his license or permit to operate a motor vehicle . . . with or without a hearing. . . .
Subsection (g) of Section 624.1, 75 P.S. § 624.1(g) provides:
(g) The person tested shall be permitted to have a physician of his own choosing then and there administer a breath or blood chemical test in addition, and the results of such tests shall also be admissible in evidence.
Hill was placed under arrest and charged with the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor by a State Police Trooper at about 2:30 o'clock A.M. on September 16, 1975. The occasion for the arrest and charge was Hill's erratic driving on a public road. The Trooper took Hill to the Ephrata substation of the Pennsylvania State Police where he asked Hill to submit to the Breathalizer test. Hill refused to submit to the test; he asked and was permitted to speak by telephone with a lawyer. After talking with the lawyer, Hill said that he wanted to have a physician of his own choosing conduct ...