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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. MICHELINA M. NAZZARO (01/15/88)

decided: January 15, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF DRIVER LICENSING, APPELLANT
v.
MICHELINA M. NAZZARO, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Michelina M. Nazzaro, No. 86-7499.

COUNSEL

Glenn R. Davis, Assistant Counsel, with him, Spencer A. Manthorpe, Chief Counsel, and Morey Myers, General Counsel, for appellant.

Richard D. Winters, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.

Author: Barry

[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 544]

The Department of Transportation (DOT) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County sustaining an appeal by Michelina Nazzaro (Nazzaro) from DOT's suspension of her operating privileges for one year.

Nazzaro was involved in a two car accident in Upper Merion Township on April 4, 1986 shortly after midnight. Officer Joseph Collemacine went to investigate

[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 545]

    and found Nazzaro being treated by an ambulance squad. Collemacine asked Nazzaro for her driver's license and registration card but she was unable to produce them. She was then taken by ambulance to the emergency room of a local hospital.

Collemacine later went to the hospital and was informed by a nurse who had attended to Nazzaro that she had been drinking but was lucid so that Collemacine could speak with her. When he tried to speak with her, she was uncooperative and indicated that she wanted to speak with her lawyer. Collemacine told Nazzaro that he believed she had been under the influence of alcohol and that he wanted her to submit to a blood test. Despite being warned of the consequences of such a refusal, Nazzaro persisted in withholding consent to any testing.

DOT notified Nazzaro that her license was being suspended pursuant to 75 Pa. C.S. ยง 1547, which mandates such suspension for refusing to submit to testing. Nazzaro appealed to common pleas court where a hearing was conducted. Collemacine recounted the events referred to above. The following exchange then took place between DOT's counsel and Collemacine:

Q: At any time did you place Miss Nazzaro ...


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