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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GEORGE PEDICK (07/05/79)

decided: July 5, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF TRAFFIC SAFETY, APPELLANT
v.
GEORGE PEDICK, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. George Pedick, No. 1977-2733.

COUNSEL

Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, and Gerald Gornish, Acting Attorney General, for appellant.

Harry A. Englehart, Jr., with him Englehart & Englehart, for appellee.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 44 Pa. Commw. Page 45]

Resolution of this appeal by the Commonwealth, from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County sustaining appellee Pedick's appeal from suspension of his motor vehicle operator's license for refusal to take a breathalyzer test under Section 624.1(a) of The Vehicle Code,*fn1 turns on the

[ 44 Pa. Commw. Page 46]

    question of whether there was both a request and a refusal to take the test.

The arresting officer encountered Pedick shortly after he was involved in a collision with another car. According to the officer, he said, "Would you like to go for a breathalyzer test?" Another witness testified that the words were, "Would you like to take a breathalyzer test?"

Later that same night, before a magistrate, the officer reiterated a similar question.

Apparently without a precise basis in the record for the exact quote, the court below found that the officer said, "Do you want to take a breathalyzer test?"

We do not see any significant difference among the three versions of the question for purposes of the decision of this case.

Two things are uncontradicted. Whatever the phrasing of the question may have been, Pedick's reply was, "No." Secondly, before the officer mentioned the breathalyzer test, he asked Pedick if he had been "drinking" and he admitted that. ...


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