No-show to court is acquitted
Melissa Millett’s drunk driving trial proceeds without her
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.