In a victory for state-owned university students, the Superior Court, on October 24, 2014, ruled that police officers employed by state-owned universities are outside their jurisdiction when effectuating stops on public roads that cut through these campuses, essentially upholding their previous decision in Commonwealth v. Durso. In this case, Commonwealth v. Boyles, a university officer set up a speed trap along Kiester Road in Slippery Rock, a road, that much like George Street in Millersville, is abutted by university property on both sides. The officer, after stopping Boyles for speeding and noticing indicia of alcohol consumption, eventually charged the motorist with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Boyles filed a motion to suppress, and, after a suppression hearing, the Court of Common Pleas ruled that the officer was outside his primary jurisdiction, thus, excluding from trial any evidence obtained after the stop (breath/blood test, field sobriety testing, bloodshot/glassy eyes, slurred speech, etc.). Without that evidence, the Commonwealth was unable to proceed, and, consequently, the charges were dismissed.
The Commonwealth appealed the decision to the Superior Court, thereby leading to its recent, above-noted decision. While the Court in Durso only relied upon the Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P.S. §§ 646 and 646.1) in its Decision, which found officers at state-owned universities (Millersville University, Slippery Rock University, etc.) are not afforded a 500 yard buffer outside their primary jurisdiction, as are officers at state-aided universities (Penn State, Pitt, etc.), the Court in Boyles also ruled that the more recent Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. §20-2019A) does not afford these police officers any further jurisdictional limits.
What this means to you: George Street, Frederick Street, and Shenks Lane all fall under the same umbrella as Kiester Road in Slippery Rock. Despite campus property to each side of the roadways, Millersville University police officers are outside their jurisdiction on these roads. If you were pulled over on these roads and charged with DUI, you may have grounds to have your charges dismissed with the help of a Millersville, PA Lawyer.
If have been charged with a DUI, contact an experienced Lancaster, PA Criminal Attorney immediately to best protect your rights!