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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. QUENTIN S. BAILEY (07/21/78)

decided: July 21, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
v.
QUENTIN S. BAILEY, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Quentin S. Bailey, Misc. No. 16 of 1976.

COUNSEL

Randolph W. VonTill, Jr., 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 Crumlish, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 644]

This is an appeal by Quentin S. Bailey from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County which affirmed the suspension of his driving privilege. The decision was made pursuant to Section 624.1(a) of The Vehicle Code (Code), Act of April 29, 1959, P.L. 58, as amended, formerly found at 75 P.S. § 624.1(a), as a result of his refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test. We affirm.

On June 17, 1975, Bailey was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a violation of Section 1037 of the Code, formerly found at 75 P.S. § 1037. He was taken

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 645]

    to the police station where the police officer requested that he submit to a breathalyzer test, which request he refused. On the basis of this refusal, the Secretary of Transportation suspended his driving privilege for six months.

Section 624.1(a) provided:

(a) Any person who operates a motor vehicle or tractor in this Commonwealth, shall be deemed to have given his consent to a chemical test of his breath, for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his blood. Provided, That the test is administered by qualified personnel and with equipment approved by the secretary at the direction of a police officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person to have been driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Qualified personnel means a physician or a police officer who has received training in the use of such equipment in a training program approved by the secretary. If any person is placed under arrest and charged with the operation of a motor vehicle or tractor 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 or tractor with or without a hearing. Any person whose license or permit to operate a motor vehicle or tractor is suspended under the provisions of this act shall have the same right of appeal as provided for in cases of suspension for other reasons. (Emphasis added.)

Appellant contends that "reasonable grounds" did not exist to support a conclusion that he had been driving while ...


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