Submitted: June 28, 2019
BEFORE: HONORABLE ROBERT SIMPSON, Judge  HONORABLE ANNE E.
COVEY, Judge HONORABLE ELLEN CEISLER, Judge.
statutory appeal, A.G. (Licensee) challenges the order of the
Court of Common Pleas of Chester County (trial court)
upholding two six-month suspensions of her operating
privileges based on her violation of Section 3714(b) of the
Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S. §3714(b) (careless driving,
unintentional death), that killed two persons. She argues the
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver
Licensing (PennDOT) erred in imposing two suspensions based
on her two convictions without regard for the single criminal
episode rule. She asserts the language of the statute
underlying the suspension controls, which defines the offense
in terms of harm to persons (plural), not a person
(singular). Upon review, we affirm.
material facts are undisputed. Licensee was convicted of two
counts of careless driving, unintentional death, under
Section 3714(b) of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S.
§3714(b). Relevant here, the incident resulted in the
deaths of two persons. By two notices dated July 3, 2018,
PennDOT imposed a six-month suspension for each conviction
pursuant to 75 Pa. C.S. §1532(b)(1), to be served
consecutively, the first suspension effective August 7, 2018,
and the second effective February 7, 2019. Licensee appealed
the second suspension to the trial court.
trial court conducted a de novo hearing. PennDOT
submitted documentary evidence consisting of Licensee's
certified driving record, the two suspension notices and
copies of the reports of two convictions for careless
driving. Licensee did not testify or submit any evidence.
Following the hearing and argument on the single criminal
episode rule, the trial court sustained both suspensions.
Licensee appealed the trial court's order as to the
second suspension to this Court.
directed by the trial court, Licensee filed a statement of
errors complained of on appeal under Pa. R.A.P. 1925(b).
Therein, she asserted that the "single criminal episode
rule" only permits one suspension when the language of
the statute underlying the violation "provides that an
act injuring multiple individuals is a single criminal
episode." Reproduced Record at 57a. Licensee emphasized
the trial court erred in upholding the suspensions based on
the number of convictions instead of the statutory language.
opinion, the trial court reasoned that two suspensions were
proper because PennDOT received reports of two convictions.
It emphasized that Licensee could not collaterally attack her
convictions in the civil licensing proceeding.
sought a stay of the second license suspension pending
appeal, which a single judge of this Court granted after
appeal, Licensee argues the trial court erred in disregarding
the single criminal episode rule. She claims the rule permits
"[o]nly a single suspension … where multiple
violations arise from a single criminal episode."
Appellant's Br. at 4 (quoting Gayman v. Dep't of
Transp., 65 A.3d 1041, 1044 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2013)).
Licensee challenges the legality of the second suspension
when she violated only one statutory provision. She
emphasizes that the statute underlying her convictions,
Section 3714 of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S. §3714,
provides that an act injuring multiple persons constitutes
one offense such that only one suspension is proper. Licensee
also claims PennDOT's imposition of two suspensions for a
single act of careless driving is inconsistent with its legal
position in other cases.
appeal presents a pure question of law that is largely a
matter of statutory construction. Therefore, our review is
plenary. Rothstein v. Dep't of Transp., Bureau of
Driver Licensing, 922 A.2d 17 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2006).
Single Criminal Episode Rule
Licensee argues the trial court erred in upholding a
suspension for each conviction when both convictions involved
the same statutory provision and arose from a single act.
PennDOT counters that each suspension corresponds to each
conviction of the offense of careless driving. As Licensee