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Commonwealth v. Menichino
Superior Court of Pennsylvania
January 23, 2017
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellant
ANDREW C. MENICHINO Appellee
from the Order entered November 10, 2015 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Mercer County Criminal Division at No:
BEFORE: LAZARUS, STABILE, and STRASSBURGER, [*] JJ.
Commonwealth appeals from the order the Court of Common Pleas
of Mercer County entered on November 10, 2015, granting
Appellee Andrew C. Menichino's motion to suppress all the
evidence derived from a vehicular stop at a DUI checkpoint.
Upon review, we reverse and remand. Following a hearing, the
suppression court found the following:
1. Sergeant Brian Robinson has been employed with the
Hermitage Police Department for 17 years, and is presently a
2. Sergeant Robinson also serves as the coordinator for the
Mercer County DUI Task Force. As coordinator, he is
responsible for analyzing data in order [to] locate problem
areas for DUI offenses. He has also served as coordinator for
seven years and has conducted approximately five (5)
checkpoints per year.
3. Prior to September 2, 2014, Sergeant Robinson utilized
the Hermitage Police Department's Alert File System to
identify two problem areas in the city of Hermitage through
the use of statistics, State Route 18 [(]a/k/a Hermitage
Road[)] and State Route 62 [(]a/k/a/ East State Street[)].
4. Sergeant Robinson testified that from September 2011 to
September 2014 there were 94 DUI arrests on State Route 18.
5. Within the same period of time, there were a total 430 DUI
arrests within the City of Hermitage. Consequently, 22% of
the total number of DUI arrests in Hermitage during this time
frame occurred on State Route 18.
6. Based on this statistic, Sergeant Robinson prepared and
presented an Operation Plan for a sobriety checkpoint on
State Route 18 to the Hermitage Chief of Police.
7. In determining the exact location of the checkpoint,
Sergeant Robinson testified that factors such as safety for
motorists, site distance, whether the site is geographically
conducive, and whether the site is appropriate for license
checks were considered.
8. Additionally, the standard methodology for operating the
sobriety checkpoint required the posting of signage advising
motorists of the checkpoint, the use of traffic cones to
direct traffic, a minimum of two officers being present, and
that every vehicle was stopped.
9. Sergeant Robinson was on the scene at the sobriety
checkpoint when [Appellee] was stopped.
10. On cross-examination, Sergeant Robinson acknowledged that
State Route 18, a/k/a/ Hermitage Road, is divided into North
and South Hermitage Road at the ...
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