from the Judgment of Sentence May 19, 2017 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Mercer County Criminal Division at No(s):
BEFORE: BOWES, J., RANSOM, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E.
Brittany Nora Smith appeals from the judgment of sentence
entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County after
the trial court convicted Appellant of Driving Under the
Influence of a Controlled Substance (DUI) and related vehicle
code violations. Appellant argues that the trial court erred
in refusing to suppress the evidence obtained from the
seizure of her vehicle and the warrantless testing of her
blood. We affirm.
trial court aptly summarized the factual background of this
case as follows:
[O]n August 6, 2016, at approximately 1:28 a.m., Trooper
Sherry L. Hogue was traveling east on Route 62 in Mercer
County. She was in a marked cruiser in full uniform. Trooper
Hogue observed a white truck pull onto Route 62 traveling in
a westwardly direction. When the truck pulled out onto Route
62 (which is a lined, two-way road), it traveled in the
center of the roadway for a sufficient period of time forcing
Trooper Hogue to apply her brakes as to avoid a collision.
The truck returned to the westbound lane and Trooper Hogue
turned her vehicle around and followed the truck. The truck
turned right onto Springfield Church Road and then left into
what appeared to be a business driveway. The trooper pulled
behind the truck, activated her lights, and exited the
The Trooper approached the driver, whom the Trooper
identified as [Appellant], and asked [Appellant] to exit her
vehicle. [Appellant] screamed at the Trooper and the Trooper
detected an odor of alcohol coming from [Appellant] and
observed [Appellant's] blood shot eyes. Trooper Hogue
also observed a drink with a straw in the center console of
[Appellant's] vehicle. Upon request, [Appellant] handed
the drink to the Trooper who smelled the drink and detected
the smell of alcoholic beverages. [Appellant] was
uncooperative with the Trooper's instructions relative to
field sobriety tests.
[Appellant] was then placed under arrest and transported to
the Grove City Medical Center. During the trip to the Grove
City Medical Center, [Appellant] told the Trooper that the
Trooper should arrest criminals and not "drunks."
The Trooper asked [Appellant] what if [Appellant] hit a car
with a family in it and [Appellant] replied "we all have
to die sometime."
Upon arrival at the Grove City Medical Center, Trooper Hogue
read the new DL-26 form which did not contain any information
regarding enhanced criminal penalties. [Appellant] signed the
form because she did not want a license suspension. Blood was
drawn and it was subsequently determined that
[Appellant's] blood alcohol content was .274.
Trial Court Opinion (T.C.O.), 7/17/17, at 3-4.
was charged with DUI and several motor vehicle code
violations. On January 3, 2017, Appellant filed a
suppression motion, alleging she was subjected to an unlawful
stop of her vehicle and illegal warrantless blood testing.
After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied
Appellant's suppression motion. On May 19, 2017, the
trial court held a stipulated bench trial and convicted
Appellant of the aforementioned offenses. The trial court
imposed a sentence of ninety days to one year of imprisonment
to be followed by four years' probation for the DUI
conviction under Section 3802(c). No further penalty was
imposed on the remaining charges. Appellant filed a timely
appeal and complied with the trial court's direction to
file a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal
pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b).
raises the following issues for our review:
1. The suppression court erred in refusing to declare the
seizure of [Appellant] and her vehicle unlawful, as there was
no probable cause for the traffic stop, as set more fully in
[Appellant's] Omnibus Pre-Trial Motion, which is attached
hereto and made a part hereof.
2. The suppression court erred in refusing to suppress
evidence of the warrantless blood search conducted by the
Pennsylvania State Police, as set forth in [Appellant's]
Omnibus Pre-Trial Motion, ...