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Commonwealth v. Livingstone

174 A.3d 609 (2017)

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Commonwealth v. Livingstone

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

174 A.3d 609 (2017)

Facts

Victoria Livingstone (defendant) was pulled over on the side of the interstate, entering an address into her car’s navigation system. Livingstone left the car running and had not activated the car’s hazard lights. Pennsylvania state trooper Jeremy Frantz saw the car, activated his emergency lights, pulled up, and asked Livingstone through the open passenger-side window whether she was alright. At a later suppression hearing, Frantz testified that Livingstone’s eyes appeared glossy, and she looked through him. Livingstone replied that she was alright and that she was traveling to New York. Frantz parked in front of Livingstone. A second trooper arrived and parked behind Livingstone. Frantz came to Livingstone’s window, requested her driver’s license, and asked whether she had been drinking. Livingstone said that she had not been drinking but wanted to after she arrived in New York. Livingstone said she had been driving for 90 minutes after a long workday. Livingstone repeated herself during the conversation. Frantz asked Livingstone to get out of the car for a field sobriety test. Livingstone broke down crying. A portable breathalyzer test showed that Livingstone had alcohol in her system. Livingstone was arrested. A later blood test showed that Livingstone’s blood-alcohol level was .205 percent. The state of Pennsylvania (plaintiff) charged Livingstone with driving under the influence. Livingstone moved to suppress the blood-test results, arguing that Frantz’s stop was investigative and unsupported by reasonable suspicion. The trial court denied the motion, and Livingstone was convicted. Livingstone appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Todd, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Donohue, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Baer, J.)

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