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Ferguson v. PENNDOT

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

December 22, 2021

This case presented the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court with an issue of first impression: Whether the decision in Chichkin affects the civil suspension of driving privileges for second-time DUI offenders when the first DUI offense is disposed of before sentencing by ARD. An en banc panel of the Commonwealth Court affirmed the Pa. Department of Transportation’s (PENNDOT) suspension of Licensee’s driving privileges. In 2012, Licensee was arrested and charged with DUI, general impairment, in Cumberland County. Licensee was accepted into the ARD program, which he successfully completed. In 2020, Licensee pleaded guilty in the Cumberland County Common Pleas Court to DUI, general impairment. PENNDOT mailed Licensee an Official Notice of Suspension of Driving Privilege for one year, pursuant to Section 3804(e)(2)(i) of the Vehicle Code. Licensee appealed to the trial court. The trial court denied Licensee’s appeal. Licensee appealed to the Commonwealth Court, which affirmed. The Court held that “because license suspensions are civil proceedings, the Chichkin ruling does not invalidate Section 3806(a) of the Vehicle Code for civil license suspension purposes.”

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