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ANTHONY BRUNO v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/24/80)

decided: October 24, 1980.

ANTHONY BRUNO, SR., APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation v. Anthony Bruno, Sr., No. 2305 September Term, 1978.

COUNSEL

John P. Pesota, 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 Wilkinson, Jr., Blatt and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 354]

This is an appeal by Anthony Bruno, Sr., from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, affirming the suspension of his driver's license for his refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test.

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 355]

On August 19, 1978, appellant Bruno was involved in a hit and run accident. After the accident Bruno proceeded to 213 Oak Street in Dickson City, Lackawanna County, from where he called the Dickson City Police and requested that a police officer be dispatched to that address. Officer Anthony Adamitis was dispatched to 213 Oak Street by police radio.

Upon his arrival at that address, Adamitis was admitted to the residence by a woman, Phyllis Sunday. As he entered the house, the officer encountered the appellant, who came from another room. Appellant Bruno then informed the officer that he had been involved in an accident. Officer Adamitis testified that as Bruno approached him, he observed that the appellant's speech was slurred, and that Bruno was staggering markedly as he entered the room. At that time, Officer Adamitis arrested Bruno for driving under the influence of alcohol, based on these observations.

After placing Bruno under arrest, Officer Adamitis asked Bruno if he would submit to a breathalyzer test. The appellant, ostensibly uncertain as to the nature and consequences of the test, neither unequivocally agreed nor refused to submit to it at that time. Nonetheless, Officer Adamitis advised Bruno at the scene of the arrest that a refusal to submit to the test would result in suspension of Bruno's license.

Shortly thereafter appellant was transported to the Dunmore State Police Barracks by Officer Adamitis. At the State Police Barracks, Bruno was confronted by State Trooper Evan Jones, a certified breathalyzer operator. Trooper Jones also asked the appellant if he would submit to the test, and also advised him of the consequences of refusing to do so. Appellant's response to the additional admonition was: "I won't take the test. Suspend me."

Because of his refusal to submit to the breathalyzer test, appellant's operator's ...


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