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LOUIS JOHN MAFFEI v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/22/80)

decided: July 22, 1980.

LOUIS JOHN MAFFEI, III, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County in Case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation v. Louis John Maffei, III, No. 9108 of 1978.

COUNSEL

Francis P. Burns, for appellant.

Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Attorney General, with him 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 Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 183]

Louis Maffei seeks review of an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County dismissing his appeal from the Secretary of Transportation's suspension of his driver's license under Section 1547 of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S. ยง 1547, on the ground that Maffei refused to submit to a blood test.

Maffei was one of the drivers involved in a three-car accident. Officer Goodwin testified that, at the scene of the accident, he observed Maffei behaving in a loud and boisterous manner, in what seemed to the officer to be an intoxicated condition. At the hospital, where the injured Maffei was being treated in the emergency room, the officer placed him under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol.

At the officer's request, Maffei agreed to submit to a blood test.

According to the officer's testimony, thereafter the technician who was to administer the blood test read to Maffei a hospital form which included a statement providing in substance that soap and water, not alcohol, would be used to cleanse the area from which the blood sample would be drawn.

However, on direct examination Maffei's testimony was that:

The lab technician came in and before she did the test she wanted me to sign a waiver that the hospital is not responsible -- this is as far as I understand it, you know, if you get hepatitis or some sort of disease from not cleansing the needle or your arm that they're not responsible for it if you die a day or two from now from the test, nobody's responsible for it. So I plainly told her to kiss my ass.

Not only is there no evidence contradicting Maffei's testimony that the form was a release from liability, but the officer also ...


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