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JOHN BRONCHIK v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/08/86)

decided: October 8, 1986.

JOHN BRONCHIK, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation v. John Bronchik, No. 39 July 1984.

COUNSEL

Michael J. Cammarano, for appellant.

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

Judges MacPhail and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri.

Author: Barbieri

[ 101 Pa. Commw. Page 232]

In this driver's license suspension appeal we are called upon to construe Section 1532(b) of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S. § 1532(b), to ascertain whether there is any time limitation on convictions under Section 1501 of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S. § 1501, requiring drivers to be licensed, to be considered "subsequent" convictions for the purpose of imposing the six-month suspension mandated by 75 Pa. C.S. § 1532(b)(2). This case is purely one of statutory construction.

The essential facts are not in dispute and are as follows. On or about February 5, 1980, Appellant John Bronchik was convicted of violating 75 Pa. C.S. § 1501 for driving on an expired operator's license. On or about March 20, 1984, Appellant was again convicted of the same offense, driving on an expired operator's license. On June 5, 1984, the Department of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic Safety (Bureau), sent Appellant official notice that his operating privileges were being suspended for six months pursuant to Section 1532(b)(2) as a result of his subsequent conviction of violating 75 Pa. C.S. § 1501. An appeal was taken to common pleas court.

[ 101 Pa. Commw. Page 233]

The common pleas court upheld the Bureau's suspension order and this appeal followed.

Before this Court, Appellant argues that under Section 1532(b)(2) there must be a point in time where a first conviction for violating Section 1501 becomes dated or stale to the extent it renders a later conviction of Section 1501 not a "subsequent" conviction for purposes of Section 1532(b)(2). In support of this argument, Appellant calls this Court's attention to other provisions of the Vehicle Code which place time limitations on repeat offenses to trigger habitual offender sanctions. He urges this Court to infer a legislative intent to place a similar time limitation in Section 1532(b)(2).

Section 1532(b)(2) reads as follows:

(2) The department shall suspend the operating privilege of any driver for six months upon receiving a certified record of the driver's conviction of a ...


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