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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOSEPH MARTIN FRYE (03/26/85)

decided: March 26, 1985.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF TRAFFIC SAFETY, APPELLANT
v.
JOSEPH MARTIN FRYE, APPELLEE. JOSEPH M. FRYE, APPELLANT V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Joseph M. Frye, No. 2468 S 1982.

COUNSEL

Glenn R. Davis, Assistant Counsel, with him, Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Counsel, Spencer A. Manthorpe, Chief Counsel, and Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, for appellant/appellee, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

John Adam Matlawski, with him, Jane G. Penny and Smith B. Gephart, Killian & Gephart, for appellee/appellant, Joseph Martin Frye.

President Judge Crumlish and Judges Rogers, Craig, MacPhail, Doyle, Colins and Palladino. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge Colins dissents. Judge Williams, Jr., did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Crumlish

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 381]

Joseph Frye and the Department of Transportation (DOT) cross appeal a Dauphin County Common Pleas Court order. We affirm the five-year license revocation; we reverse the nullification of an additional two-year revocation.

In a single night, Frye committed four serious violations of the Vehicle Code.*fn1 Upon his conviction

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 382]

    on these offenses, DOT revoked Frye's driver's license for consecutive terms of six months, six months,*fn2 five years, and two years. The latter revocations of five years and two years were ordered pursuant to Section 1542 of the Code.*fn3 The Common Pleas Court dismissed

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 383]

Frye's appeal of the five-year revocation but sustained his appeal of the additional two-year revocation.

In his appeal to this Court, Frye contends that the five-year revocation for habitual traffic offenders only takes effect when a driver has committed offenses enumerated in Section 1542(b) of the Code*fn4 on three separate, unconnected points in time. He thus claims immunity from this revocation because his violations all occurred on one evening. We find no merit in this argument.

This Court has consistently held that the five-year habitual offender revocation takes effect whenever there are three convictions on Section 1542(b) offenses, regardless of whether these offenses are committed within a narrow time frame or on separate occasions. See, e.g., Melcher v. Commonwealth, 58 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 634, 428 A.2d 773 (1981). This line of cases is firmly grounded on the legislature's clear intent to classify as a habitual offender a driver who commits three enumerated violations "either singularly or in combination " (emphasis added).*fn5 Neither the common usage of the word "habitual" nor the statements of individual legislators can supplant this ...


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