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BURTON F. DRILL v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/11/83)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: May 11, 1983.

BURTON F. DRILL, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Burton F. Drill, No. 80-17269.

COUNSEL

Marc M. Orlow, Techner, Rubin, Shapiro & Slass, for appellant.

Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Counsel, with him Ward T. Williams, Chief Counsel, and Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, for appellee.

Judges Blatt, Craig and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 74 Pa. Commw. Page 262]

Seeking a remand for the recalculation of points assessed against his driving record, Burton F. Drill appeals from a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court order which affirmed the Secretary of Transportation's decision to suspend Mr. Drill's operating privileges for sixty-five days.

[ 74 Pa. Commw. Page 263]

According to the undisputed facts of record, Mr. Drill committed four driving violations from May 17, 1979 to March 2, 1980, as follows:

Date of Date of

Vio- Con- Section Action Taken

     lation viction Violation Violated by Department

5/17/79 6/29/79 Traffic Sig- 75 Pa. C.S. Point Letter

     nal Violation § 3112(a)(i)

2/1/80 3/18/80 Improper 75 Pa. C.S. Point Letter

Turning § 3332

Around

2/9/80 2/14/80 Speeding 75 Pa. C.S. Point Letter

§ 3362

3/2/80 Speeding 75 Pa. C.S. Point Letter

§ 3362

TOTAL POINTS

Apparently, after the Department of Transportation (DOT) received certification of Mr. Drill's February 14, 1980 conviction, it notified him on July 16, 1980 that he would have to submit to a special examination under section 1538(a) of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S. § 1538(a),*fn1 having accumulated six or more points on his record. According to the common pleas court, Mr. Drill passed the examination on September 9, 1980.*fn2

Although there is no evidence of record to indicate when DOT received notification of Mr. Drill's March 2 and March 18 convictions, the record reveals that, by order of September 10, 1980, DOT notified Mr. Drill that it would suspend his operating privileges as mandated

[ 74 Pa. Commw. Page 264]

    by section 1539 of the Vehicle Code,*fn3 because the February 1, 1980 violation brought his total point accumulation to thirteen.

Mr. Drill contends that, because he passed the special examination on September 9, 1980, DOT should have removed two points from his driving record under section 1538 as of September 16, 1980, when the Commonwealth sent notice of his license suspension. Arguing that DOT failed to act with due diligence, he contends that, at most, he accumulated only eleven points at the time of suspension and should have his operating privileges suspended for only fifty-five days. We disagree.

Our well-settled interpretation of section 1539(a) is that points are assessed at the time of the violation rather than at the time of conviction. Bureau of Traffic Safety v. Hafer, 54 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 310, 421 A.2d 492 (1980). Mr. Drill does not deny that he committed all four violations by March 2, 1980; accordingly, all thirteen points vested before the date of his special examination. Therefore, passing the examination in September did not affect Mr. Drill's suspension because he successfully completed the test only after the date of the violation which gave him a thirteen-point total. Bureau of Traffic Safety v. Sherwood, 51 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 117, 414 A.2d 151 (1980); Bureau of Traffic Safety v. Sheets, 49 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 175, 410 A.2d 1295 (1980).*fn4

[ 74 Pa. Commw. Page 265]

Accordingly, we affirm.

Order

Now, May 11, 1983, the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, No. 80-17269, is affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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