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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JAMES G. UEBELACKER (06/30/86)

decided: June 30, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF TRAFFIC SAFETY, APPELLANT
v.
JAMES G. UEBELACKER, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation v. James G. Uebelacker, No. 1504 of 1983.

COUNSEL

Michael R. Deckman, Deputy Chief Counsel, with him, Spencer A. Manthorpe, Chief Counsel, and Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, for appellant.

Richard Mancini, for appellee.

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

Author: Doyle

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 437]

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic Safety (DOT) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County which vacated DOT's order suspending the operating privileges

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 438]

    of James G. Uebelacker (Appellee) for his refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test pursuant to Section 1547(b) of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S. ยง 1547(b), (Code).

The trial court based its decision entirely on the testimony of Assistant Police Chief Jack E. Mintier of the South Beaver Township Police Department. Officer Mintier stated that on September 24, 1983, he arrived at the scene of a two car accident, where he found Appellee, who admitted that he had been operating one of the vehicles involved, standing alongside a third, uninvolved vehicle, in a "very relaxed type of attitude." The officer also testified that, upon determining that both operators required medical attention, he radioed for an ambulance and then followed the ambulance to the hospital, where he waited for Appellee to be examined. His testimony regarding the events at the hospital was a follows:

A. At the hospital, after he was examined, I went into where the bed was, where he was at, and advised him that he was going to be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and I would like him to submit to a blood test. And, at that time, he had asked me to explain to him what would and wouldn't happen. So I explained to him if he did not take the blood test, his operator's privileges would be suspended and that the blood test is to verify the amount of alcohol content in his blood.

Q. And what was his response to your request to take a blood test?

A. He refused to take the test.

Q. Did you have any further contact with ...


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