Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. John H. Magill, No. 1287 S. 1985.
Robert M. Rosenblum, Rosenblum and Anders, P.C., for appellant.
Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Counsel, with him, Spencer A. Manthorpe, Chief Counsel, and Henry G. Barr, General Counsel, for appellee.
Judges Barry and Palladino (p), and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 518]
This is an appeal by John H. Magill from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County (trial court) affirming a decision of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) which suspended appellant's motor vehicle operating privileges for one year pursuant to Section 1547(b) of the Vehicle Code.*fn1 For the reasons which follow, we affirm.
Appellant was stopped for driving under the influence of alcohol*fn2 by Officer Miller of the East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania Police Department. Officer Miller stopped appellant at the request of Officer Cavilla, who was following appellant and had observed him operating his vehicle in an erratic fashion. Officer Miller watched appellant make a wide radius turn. The officer fell in behind appellant and attempted to stop him for two blocks. Officer Miller testified that during that two block interval he turned on his emergency red lights, flashed his high beam headlights and sounded his siren but appellant did not notice. Appellant finally pulled over, Officer Miller parked behind him and Officer Cavilla, in a third car, parked behind Officer Miller. Appellant
[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 519]
exited his vehicle, walking in an unsteady gait. He smelled of alcohol, slurred his speech and was unable to satisfactorily perform field sobriety tests.
Appellant was arrested for driving under the influence and advised of the consequences of his refusal to submit to chemical testing of his blood. He initially consented to the test. He was then transported to a hospital, where he subsequently refused the test.
Pursuant to 75 Pa. C.S. § 1547(b), DOT suspended appellant's license for refusing to submit to a chemical test of his blood to determine alcohol by weight. He appealed the decision to the trial court which, after a de novo hearing, affirmed DOT's decision. Appellant now appeals to this Court.
Appellant raises three issues for our determination: (1) the trial court erred in finding that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that appellant was driving while intoxicated; (2) the trial court erred in finding that appellant refused to submit to a breathalyzer test; and (3) appellant should have ...