Vellon v. Dept of Transportation (majority)Annotate this Case
In March 2016, Appellant Jose Vellon was arrested for DUI of alcohol pursuant to Subsection 3802(a)(1) of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S. § 3802(a)(1) (general impairment). A violation of this statute constituted an “ungraded misdemeanor.” Vellon was accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (“ARD”) Program. Several months later, police charged Vellon with another DUI. As a result of the Second DUI, the trial court entered an order removing Vellon from ARD. Vellon pleaded guilty to the First and Second DUIs, and in October 2017, he was sentenced on both DUI violations. Appellee Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing (“PennDOT”) informed Vellon that it would be suspending his driving privileges as a collateral consequence of his DUI convictions pursuant to Section 3804 of the Vehicle Code. Vellon appealed only his license suspension for the First DUI. In this appeal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was asked whether the Commonwealth Court erred in concluding that, in drafting Section 3806, the General Assembly intended to mandate that, when a defendant is sentenced for two driving-under- the-influence (“DUI”) offenses on the same day, both offenses had be considered prior offenses to each other with each warranting civil recidivist collateral consequences, despite the facts that the defendant committed the DUI violations at different points in time and had never previously been convicted of DUI. To this, the Supreme Court disagreed with the Commonwealth Court and reversed that court’s order.