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HARRY F. MILLER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/01/80)

decided: July 1, 1980.

HARRY F. MILLER, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Harry F. Miller, No. 78-2445.

COUNSEL

Gary T. Harris, Stuart, Murphy, Smith, Mussina, Harris & Rieders, for appellant.

Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Attorney General, with him Francis P. Bach, Assistant Attorney General, Ward T. Williams, Chief Counsel, Transportation, and Harvey Bartle, III, Acting Attorney General, for appellee.

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

Author: Rogers

[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 472]

Harry F. Miller has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County affirming a decision of the Department of Transportation suspending his license for two consecutive six month periods. We affirm.

Miller was involved in an automobile accident on December 23, 1977 and was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of Section 3731 of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S. § 3731, and failing to stop at or return to the scene of an accident involving damage to property in violation of Section 3743, 75 Pa. C.S. § 3743. Miller pleaded guilty to both charges and was sentenced to pay a fine of $350 and make restitution for the violation of Section 3731. Sentence for the conviction of Section 3743 was suspended.

After receiving a certified record of the convictions, the Department of Transportation's Bureau of

[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 473]

Traffic Safety notified Miller that his operator's license would be suspended for six months beginning April 4, 1978 for the violation of Section 3731 and that it would be suspended for an additional six months beginning October 4, 1978 for the violation of Section 3743. Miller appealed the second suspension to the Court of Common Pleas, arguing that it should run concurrently with the first suspension. The court dismissed his appeal and this appeal followed.

Miller argues that the Department of Transportation is without authority to issue consecutive license suspensions for violations arising out of one accident. We disagree. Section 1532(b) of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S. § 1532(b) provides in pertinent part:

(b) Suspension --

(1) The department [of Transportation] shall suspend the operating privilege of any driver for six months upon receiving a certified record of the driver's conviction of ...


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