R. v. Wack (W.D.), (1992) 116 N.S.R.(2d) 278 (ProvCt)

CourtProvincial Court of Nova Scotia (Canada)
Case DateAugust 27, 1992
JurisdictionNova Scotia
Citations(1992), 116 N.S.R.(2d) 278 (ProvCt)

R. v. Wack (W.D.) (1992), 116 N.S.R.(2d) 278 (ProvCt);

  320 A.P.R. 278

MLB headnote and full text

Her Majesty The Queen v. William Davies Wack

(Nos. 292634; 292635)

Indexed As: R. v. Wack (W.D.)

Nova Scotia Provincial Court

Crowell, J.P.C.

August 27, 1992.


The accused was charged with two alcohol related driving offences under ss. 253(a) and 253(b) of the Criminal Code. The accused argued, inter alia, that ss. 258(1)(c) and 258(1)(g) relating to results of breathalyzer tests and breathalyzer certificates were con­trary to s. 7 of the Charter (i.e., the right to make full answer and defence).

The Nova Scotia Provincial Court rejected the Charter argument, convicted the accused of the s. 253(b) offence and stayed the decision on the s. 253(a) offence.

Civil Rights - Topic 3133

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Criminal and quasi- criminal proceedings - Right of accused to make full answer and defence - The Criminal Code, s. 258(1)(c), provided that the evidence of results of breathalyzer tests, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, constituted proof of blood/alcohol content - Section 258(1)(g) provided that a certificate of a qualified breathalyzer technician constituted evidence of the facts alleged in the certificate without proof of the signature or the official character of the person appearing to have signed the certificate - An accused charged with alcohol related driving offences argued that ss. 258(1)(c) and 258(1)(g) violated his right to make full answer and defence (Charter, s. 7) - The Nova Scotia Provin­cial Court rejected the accused's argument - See paragraphs 23 to 35.

Criminal Law - Topic 1374

Motor vehicles - Impaired driving - Breathalyzer - Evidence and certificate evidence of breathalyzer results - [See Civil Rights - Topic 3133 ].

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Mudry (1979), 19 A.R. 379; 50 C.C.C.(2d) 518; 5 M.V.R. 23 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 5].

R. v. Deboice (1987), 85 A.R. 170; 1 M.V.R.(2d) 46 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 6].

R. v. Sharam (1987), 7 M.V.R.(2d) 105 (P.E.I.C.A.), refd to. [para. 14].

Danson v. Ontario (Attorney General), [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1086; 112 N.R. 362; 41 O.A.C. 250, refd to. [para. 30].

R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103; 65 N.R. 87; 14 O.A.C. 335; 26 D.L.R.(4th) 200; 50 C.R.(3d) 1; 24 C.C.C.(3d) 321; 19 C.R.R. 308, refd to. [para. 32].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 7 [para. 4].

Constitutional Questions Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 89, sect. 8 [para. 33].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 253(a), sect. 253(b) [para. 1]; sect. 254(3), sect. 258(1)(c), sect. 258(1)(g) [para. 4].


Darrell I. Carmichael, for the Crown;

Curtis C. Palmer, for the defence.

This case was heard before Crowell, J.P.C., of the Nova Scotia Provincial Court, who delivered the following decision on August 27, 1992.

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