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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOHN SPEIGHTS (04/03/86)

filed: April 3, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JOHN SPEIGHTS, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of March 28, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, at No. 83-02-0561.

COUNSEL

Elaine DeMasse, Assistant Public Defender, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Jane C. Greenspan, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, Beck and Cercone, JJ.

Author: Beck

[ 353 Pa. Super. Page 259]

The sole issue in this appeal is whether, without explanation by expert testimony, the result of a breathalyzer test administered two hours and forty-five minutes after appellant operated a motor vehicle, constitutes sufficient evidence

[ 353 Pa. Super. Page 260]

    to convict appellant of violating subsection 3731(a)(4) of the Vehicle Code,*fn1 namely, "[a] person shall not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of any vehicle while . . . the amount of alcohol in the blood of the person is 0.10% or greater." We hold that a breathalyzer test result can, by itself, support a conviction under subsection 3731(a)(4), and accordingly, we affirm the order of the court of common pleas.

At a trial in the Philadelphia Municipal Court, appellant was convicted of having a blood alcohol level of 0.10% or greater while he was operating a vehicle. 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3731(a)(4). Appellant then filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.*fn2 From the denial of the petition, appellant brought the present appeal contesting the sufficiency of the evidence of his conviction.

Our scope of review in considering a claim of insufficient evidence is to view the evidence, together with all reasonable inferences therefrom, in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth as the verdict winner. Commonwealth v. Dincel, 311 Pa. Super. 470, 457 A.2d 1278 (1983). The test is whether the evidence, when so viewed, is sufficient to permit a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Commonwealth v. Litzenberger, 333 Pa. Super. 471, 482 A.2d 968 (1984).

Appellant was arrested at approximately 5:00 p.m. The arresting officer testified that although appellant's car did

[ 353 Pa. Super. Page 261]

    not collide with anything, it was swerving from side to side on the road and nearly struck some parked vehicles. Furthermore, the officer stated that appellant ran a red light and did not pull over in response to the officer's having sounded his police car siren. When appellant eventually stopped, the officer observed that appellant had bloodshot eyes and that there was a heavy odor of alcohol emanating from inside appellant's car. In ...


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