Appeal from the Order October 10, 1985 in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Criminal No. 2508 of 1985.
Stephen B. Harris, Assistant District Attorney, Warrington, for Com., appellant.
Martin J. King, New Hope, for appellee.
Cavanaugh, Olszewski and Tamilia, JJ. Cavanaugh, J., concurs in the result.
In this matter, the Commonwealth appeals an order granting the appellee's motion to suppress. The suppression court found that the police obtained the results of a blood test performed on appellee pursuant to an improperly issued subpoena and then used that evidence as a basis for drunk driving charges subsequently filed. Finding a circumvention
of established search and seizure procedures, the court suppressed the blood test information. Upon review, we conclude that the subpoena was invalid and therefore should have been vacated. Because we find, however, that the Commonwealth learned the results of the test prior to issuance of the invalid subpoena, and that this information was obtained lawfully and without violating appellee's rights, we reverse the suppression court's decision.
Preliminarily we note that the Commonwealth may appeal from a trial court's ruling on a suppression motion when the Commonwealth certifies in good faith that the suppression order terminates or substantially handicaps its prosecution. Commonwealth v. Dugger, 506 Pa. 537, 546-547, 486 A.2d 382, 386 (1985). Because the Commonwealth has so certified, this appeal is properly before us.
On April 4, 1985, appellee was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Appellee subsequently filed omnibus pre-trial motions to suppress the results of a blood alcohol test. The motions were heard by the Honorable William H. Rufe, III, on October 10, 1985 on a stipulated set of facts. Following the hearing, Judge Rufe ordered that the blood test information be suppressed.*fn1 Thereafter, Judge Rufe filed an opinion in which he recited the agreed facts as follows:
On April 2, 1985, the defendant was involved in a one car accident in this County at 12:10 a.m. At 12:15 a.m. the arresting officer arrived on the scene, ascertained that defendant was the driver and detected an odor of alcohol on his breath. However, because of other duties
involved in investigating the accident and clearing the wreckage, the arresting officer did not administer any field sobriety tests, or note any other ...