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08/27/97 COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. KEVIN SCOTT

August 27, 1997

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
KEVIN SCOTT STAIR, APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania at No. 1630 PGH 1995 entered on April 4, 1996 affirming the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of of Bedford County at Crim. Div. No. 371 of 1994 entered on August 4, 1995. JUDGE(S) BELOW: CCP - Honorable Daniel J. Howsare, Jr. / SUPERIOR - CIRILLO, SAYLOR, EAKIN, JJ.

Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court entered April 4, 1996, at No. 1630 Pittsburgh 1995, affirming the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bedford County, Criminal Division, entered August 4, 1995, at No. 371 of 1994. JUDGE(S) BELOW: CCP - Honorable Daniel J. Howsare, Jr. / SUPERIOR - CIRILLO, SAYLOR, EAKIN, JJ.

Composition OF The Court: Mr. Chief Justice John P. Flaherty, Zappala, Cappy, Castille, Nigro, Newman, JJ. Mr. Justice Cappy files an Opinion in Support of Affirmance in which Mr. Justice Castille and Madame Justice Newman join. Mr. Justice Zappala files an Opinion in Support of Reversal in which Mr. Chief Justice Flaherty and Mr. Justice Nigro join.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cappy; Zappala

ORDER

PER CURIAM

DECIDED: AUGUST 27, 1997

The Court being evenly divided, the order of the Superior Court is affirmed.

Mr. Justice Cappy files an Opinion in Support of Affirmance in which Mr. Justice Castille and Madame Justice Newman join.

Mr. Justice Zappala files an Opinion in Support of Reversal in which Mr. Chief Justice Flaherty and Mr. Justice Nigro join.

OPINION IN SUPPORT OF AFFIRMANCE

JUSTICE CAPPY:

DECIDED: AUGUST 27, 1997

The question presented in this appeal is whether a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper can lawfully administer the Implied Consent Law, 75 Pa.C.S. § 1547(a), *fn1 in another state to a driver who has been involved in an automobile accident while operating a vehicle in Pennsylvania. For the reasons which follow, we would affirm the order of the Superior Court finding that a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper had authority, pursuant to Pennsylvania's Implied Consent Law, to advise the driver of his rights under the Pennsylvania Implied Consent Law and to request the driver to submit to chemical testing of his blood while in another state.

Appellant Kevin Scott Stair, who is a resident of Pennsylvania, was involved in a two-car accident on February 12, 1994 while operating a vehicle in Bedford County, Pennsylvania at a place less than a half mile from the Maryland state border. Appellant was transported from the scene of the accident to the nearest hospital for treatment of his injuries. This hospital was Memorial Hospital, located in Cumberland, Maryland. Appellant was admitted to Memorial Hospital at approximately 11:10 p.m. suffering from a concussion, and numerous broken bones, including his jaw, nose, ribs, and legs. When Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Bosch arrived at the scene of the accident at approximately 11:30 p.m., Appellant was no longer in Pennsylvania.

Trooper Bosch conducted an investigation of the accident scene for approximately one hour. The trooper then proceeded directly to Memorial Hospital's emergency room, and, upon arriving at the hospital at 1:00 a.m., observed Appellant acting in a belligerent and uncooperative manner with hospital staff. When Trooper Bosch began to speak with Appellant, he noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Appellant's breath. A second Pennsylvania State Police Trooper who had accompanied Trooper Bosch to the hospital read Miranda rights *fn2 to Appellant. Trooper Bosch then gave O'Connell warnings *fn3 to Appellant ...


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