No-show to court is ac­quit­ted

Melissa Mil­lett’s drunk driv­ing trial pro­ceeds with­out her

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - HOT ONLINE - BY RYAN ROSS rross­the­guardian.pe.ca twit­ter.com/ryan­r­ross

A Nova Sco­tia woman who didn’t show up for her drunk driv­ing trial or have a lawyer act­ing on her be­half was ac­quit­ted Wed­nes­day in pro­vin­cial court in Char­lot­te­town.

Melissa Mil­lett, 31, was sched­uled to ap­pear be­fore Chief Judge Nancy Orr af­ter she was charged in July when she at­tended the Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

Mil­lett, who lives in Lower Sackville, N.S., hadn’t pro­vided her lawyer within struc­tions.

Her lawyer re­moved her­self from the case and the Crown sought to pro­ceed with the trial with­out Mil­lett present.

Dur­ing the trial, the court heard from the ar­rest­ing RCMP of­fi­cer who tes­ti­fied she was dis­patched to a call of a driver drink­ing beer ina Jeep Wran­gler and throw­ing it out­the win­dow.

The of­fi­cer tes­ti­fied Mil­lett was the driver and when she spoke her speech was slurred and there was a smell of al­co­hol on her breath.

Mil­let’s Jeep was in a line of ve­hi­cles leav­ing a park­ing lot and the en­gine was run­ning.

The of­fi­cer said she sus­pected Mil­lett was im­paired by al­co­hol.

She gave Mil­lett a de­mand for a breath sam­ple on­the road­side screen­ing de­vice.

Mil­lett re­sponded that she had a drink so she knew she would blow over­the limit, the of­fi­cer said.

She failed the road­side breath test.

The of­fi­cer ar­rested Mil­let who the court heard later pro­vided breath­a­lyzer sam­ples that were above the le­gal limit.

An­other of­fi­cer tes­ti­fied he no­ticed an open case of beer in the Jeep’s back seat.

In ac­quit­ting Mil­lett, Orr said she had to de­cide if the ba­sis was there for mak­ing a breath de­mand.

Orr said that wasn’t demon­strated dur­ing the trial and she had no other op­tion butto grant an ac­quit­tal.

“Re­luc­tantly,” Orr said.

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