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HERMAN DEAN BREWSTER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/22/86)

decided: January 22, 1986.

HERMAN DEAN BREWSTER, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in the case of Herman Dean Brewster v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, No. 84-02688.

COUNSEL

Robert C. Whitley, III, for appellant.

Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Counsel, with him, Spencer A. Manthorpe, Chief Counsel, and Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Craig, MacPhail, Doyle, Colins and Palladino. Opinion by Judge Colins.

Author: Colins

[ 94 Pa. Commw. Page 278]

Herman Dean Brewster (appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, which affirmed the order of the Department of Transportation (DOT) revoking his driver's license for five years pursuant to the habitual offender provisions of Section 1542 of the Motor Vehicle Code (Code).*fn1

[ 94 Pa. Commw. Page 279]

The issue before this Court is whether Section 1542(c) of the Code, which mandates that an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program shall constitute an offense for purposes of determining habitual offender status, is unconstitutional. It is appellant's contention that Section 1542(c) of the Code is unconstitutional because it deprives the appellant of a property right without due process of law. Appellant asserts he was deprived of the right to drive without due process because he was never informed that participation in an ARD would constitute an offense for purposes of the habitual offender provisions of the Code when he was making the decision to accept the ARD program.*fn2

Section 1542 of the Code provides:

(a) General rule. -- The department shall revoke the operating privilege of any person found to be a habitual offender pursuant to the provisions of this section. A 'habitual offender' shall be any person whose driving record . . . shows that such person has accumulated the requisite number of convictions for the separate and distinct offenses described and enumerated in subsection (b) . . .

(b) Offenses enumerated -- Three convictions . . . shall result in [a designation] as a habitual offender . . .

[ 94 Pa. Commw. Page 280]

(c) Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition as an offense -- Acceptance of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for any offense enumerated . . . shall be considered an ...


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