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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JAMES DEVEREAUX (09/10/82)

filed: September 10, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JAMES DEVEREAUX, APPELLANT



No. 2872 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Chester County at No. 044480.

COUNSEL

George P. Noel, Media, for appellant.

Joseph Carroll, Assistant District Attorney, West Chester, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, McEwen and Lipez, JJ.

Author: Wickersham

[ 304 Pa. Super. Page 328]

The district attorney of Chester County, by information, charged James Devereaux, appellant herein, with having, on February 29, 1980, driven a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to a degree which rendered him incapable of safe driving.

§ 3731. Driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance

(a) Offense defined. -- A person shall not drive any vehicle while:

(1) under the influence of alcohol to a degree which renders the person incapable of safe driving;

75 Pa.C.S. § 3731.

On May 29, 1980, James Devereaux went on trial before the Honorable Thomas A. Pitt, Jr. and a jury, following which trial Devereaux was found guilty. Post-trial motions were filed, argued and denied; on December 5, 1980, Devereaux was sentenced by the court to pay a fine of $100 plus costs. This appeal followed.*fn1

[ 304 Pa. Super. Page 329]

At trial, Anthony D. Minnis testified for the Commonwealth. He said he was twenty-two years of age and on February 29, 1980 he was a volunteer with the Berwyn Fire Company. At about 10:30 p. m. on that night he was in the driveway of his home about three-tenths of a mile from the intersection of Devon State Road and Spencer Road. It was a cold, clear and dry evening. He heard a crash and proceeded to the intersection, arriving in less than a minute. Mr. Minnis testified as follows:

A. . . . a car off to the side of the road with the headlights on. I proceeded down to the scene to see if it had been an accident. At which time I determined that it was.

Q. Did you see anyone in the area of that car?

A. Only one person.

Q. And this person that you saw in the area of that car, where did you see him?

A. Outside the car.

Q. What was he doing?

A. He was attempting to get into the car and I would imagine to check on the person inside.

Q. Did he have anything in his hand?

A. Yes, sir. He had a flashlight.

Q. But he was standing outside the car?

A. Yes, sir.

A. I observed that he now had the door open, the person standing outside of the vehicle, and that upon my arrival,

[ 304 Pa. Super. Page 330]

    he was leaning into the car. I asked him to move and then I noticed another person seated in the passenger seat of the vehicle who appeared to be injured.

Q. Did you see anyone else in that car?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you see anyone else standing around that car?

A. No, sir.

Q. What did you do after you moved this person with the flashlight out of the way?

A. I climbed into the driver's side of the vehicle and checked the patient, the obvious things, like air-way breathing, anything of that nature, any obvious injuries.

Q. What, if any, damage to the car did ...


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