No. 335 Harrisburg 1981, APPEAL FROM THE ORDER OF NOVEMBER 4, 1981, IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF DAUPHIN COUNTY, CRIMINAL NO. 1444, A.B.C. C.D. 1981
John Stewart Davidson, Hershey, for appellant.
William A. Behe, Deputy District Attorney, Harrisburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Wickersham, Cirillo and Watkins, JJ.
[ 314 Pa. Super. Page 326]
This is an appeal from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County denying appellant's Motion to Dismiss the Information charging him with two summary motor vehicle violations and a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. Dismissal is sought on the ground that appellant is being placed in double jeopardy because he had previously pled guilty before a District Justice and paid fines for traffic violations occurring in another municipality but arising out of the same episode. The Motion was denied, and we affirm that ruling.
The incident giving rise to this appeal began on the evening of May 21, 1981, when appellant was observed by Officer Briana Vernouski of the Swatara Township Police Department driving his motorcycle in a manner she regarded as reckless, passing vehicles on the right and weaving in and out of traffic. The police officer began pursuit and the motorcycle accelerated in an attempt to flee. The officer followed the cyclist into Paxtang Borough*fn1 where the cyclist crashed. Since the accident occurred in Paxtang, Officer Vernouski notified the Paxtang Police Department which dispatched Officer David Buckwash to the scene. The appellant was unconscious and had to be taken to Community General Osteopathic Hospital.
On the date of the incident, Officer Vernouski filed two summary citations in Swatara Township: overtaking a vehicle on the right*fn2 and fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer.*fn3
In the interim, Officer Buckwash, who had accompanied the appellant to the hospital, obtained a consent from the appellant for a blood alcohol content test. The sample revealed a blood alcohol content of .21 percent. The police
[ 314 Pa. Super. Page 327]
officer specifically advised the appellant he would be charged with driving a motor vehicle under the influence of liquor or drugs*fn4 and various summary offenses by Paxtang Borough but he did not name the offenses, as he wanted to check with Officer Vernouski as to which charges she would be filing. Later, when the appellant was released from the hospital, Officer Buckwash, who was in uniform and in a marked Paxtang Borough police cruiser, accompanied the appellant to his place of business and discussed the charges again with him, indicating that he should expect to receive charges from Paxtang Borough in addition to those filed by Swatara Township. The officer gave the appellant one of his identification cards in case he had any questions.
The Swatara Township charges were filed on May 21, 1981, but the citations were not issued from the District Justice until May 26, 1981. The Paxtang Borough Police Department received the blood alcohol content test results on June 7, 1981 and, on the same date, filed the charge of driving under the influence of liquor or drugs as well as traveling in the wrong direction on a one-way street,*fn5 driving while operating privileges are suspended,*fn6 and operating a motorcycle without a classified license.*fn7 The Paxtang Borough citations issued from the District Justice on June 9, 1981.
On June 10, 1981, the appellant appeared before the District Justice and pled guilty to the Swatara Township charges and paid the appropriate fines. At a second hearing before the District Justice on July 16, 1981 on the charges submitted by Paxtang Borough, the citation alleging a violation of 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3308(b) was dismissed because it had been issued ...