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What's New

DL-26 and DL-27 PENNDOT forms have been updated May 2016. Here are the links to the new forms - DL-26 and DL-27.

Comm. V. Weaver August 2013
No 1870 MDA Superior Ct.

The trooper responded to a dispatch detailing erratic driving. Weaver acted sluggish, but did not display indicia of alcohol consumption. Weaver’s pupils were constricted, however, and the trooper asked him to exit his vehicle. Weaver’s leg was injured and the trooper chose to administer only the HGN test. The trooper noted “extensive” nystagmus. He stated the HGN was the “primary basis” for the arrest decision. Judge Bowes, writing for a unanimous panel, acknowledged the cases dealing with HGN at trial. She then noted the evidentiary difference between determining probable cause and adjudicating guilt. She held the suppression court had properly admitted the trooper’s HGN testimony: “[o]fficer Hunter, who was trained in the administration of the HGN test, was permitted to rely on his observations gained from that procedure to support his conclusion that Appellant was driving under the influence of a controlled substance.” Com. V. Weaver, No. 1870 MDA August 28, 2013, 2013 PA Super 245

New changes under the Transportation law

Title 75 Section 1332
Motorcycle registration plates may be ordered to have the characters displayed vertically so that plate can be mounted vertically.

Title 75 Section 3111
Obedience to traffic-control devices changes the fine from $25.00 to $150.0 but has no surcharges under Title 75 Section 6506 and Title 42 Section 1725.1.

Title 75 Section 1786 D 1.1
As owner whose registration has been suspended under this section may pay a civil penalty of $500.00 to PENNDOT to restore their registration earlier once they have furnished proof of financial responsibility.

Chemical Breath Testing Concerns, Commonwealth v Schildt:

The suppression of the blood alcohol concentration measurement of an Intoxilyzer 5000EN by a Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas Judge has created much discussion and some confusion regarding the impact of the ruling. An examination of the judge’s written opinion reveals the immediate legal impact is clearly stated that in Dauphin County measurements of blood alcohol concentration above 0.15 using an Intoxilizer 5000EN are inadmissible. The written opinion does editorialize on several other areas of breath testing which could well be an indication of issues on which the judge would like the court to rule but those discussions are not part of the binding order. Also, already, defense attorneys are attempting to solicit other county courts to accept the ruling and order in favor of suppression. What is unique regarding this ruling is that instead of challenging the reliability of a specific serial numbered instrument or the procedures used by the operator; this ruling questions the accuracy of the scientific principle this make and model instrument uses to calculate the blood alcohol concentration from the breath sample. It could be said it takes much courage to reject a proven scientific measurement practice accepted in most, if not all, modern industrialize countries based on the hypotheses presented.

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