R. v. Wentzell (R.J.), 2006 NSPC 47

JudgeCrawford, P.C.J.
CourtProvincial Court of Nova Scotia (Canada)
Case DateJuly 20, 2006
JurisdictionNova Scotia
Citations2006 NSPC 47;(2006), 248 N.S.R.(2d) 383 (PC)

R. v. Wentzell (R.J.) (2006), 248 N.S.R.(2d) 383 (PC);

    789 A.P.R. 383

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2006] N.S.R.(2d) TBEd. NO.014

R. v. Robert Jeffery Wentzell

(1583362, 1583363; 2006 NSPC 47)

Indexed As: R. v. Wentzell (R.J.)

Nova Scotia Provincial Court

Crawford, P.C.J.

October 19, 2006.


The accused was charged with impaired driving and refusing to provide a breath sample.

The Nova Scotia Provincial Court acquitted the accused.

Civil Rights - Topic 3608

Detention and imprisonment - Detention - Right to be informed of reasons for - A police officer noticed a vehicle driving erratically - He pulled it over - He noticed that the driver (the accused) had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol - As the officer was not trained to use an approved screening device, he called another officer on duty to attend the scene to demand and administer the approved screening device test - The officer detained the accused while he waited for the other officer - He never explained to the accused why he was detained - When the test was finally administered, it registered a fail - He was arrested - At the police station, he spoke to counsel and refused to provide a breath sample - The accused was charged with impaired driving and refusing to provide a breath sample - The Nova Scotia Provincial Court held that there were no unusual circumstances other than the officer’s lack of training in the approved screening device, yet the accused was detained for 17 minutes with no explanation - This was a breach of the accused’s s. 10(a) Charter rights and the evidence obtained subsequent to the breach was excluded - The court entered acquittals where the remaining evidence was insufficient.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Simmons (R.C.) (2006), 249 N.S.R.(2d) 31; 792 A.P.R. 31 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 15].

R. v. Grant, [1991] 3 S.C.R. 139; 130 N.R. 250; 93 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 181; 292 A.P.R. 181; 67 C.C.C.(3d) 268, refd to. [para. 15].

R. v. Cote (1992), 54 O.A.C. 281; 70 C.C.C.(3d) 280 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 15].

R. v. Debaie (W.A.) (2000), 187 N.S.R.(2d) 188; 585 A.P.R. 188 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 15].

R. v. Woods (J.C.), [2005] 2 S.C.R. 205; 336 N.R. 1; 195 Man.R.(2d) 131; 351 W.A.C. 131; 2005 SCC 42, refd to. [para. 15].

R. v. Anderson (C.L.) (2006), 276 Sask.R. 304; 2006 CarswellSask 103 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 16].

R. v. Stellato (T.), [1994] 2 S.C.R. 478; 168 N.R. 190; 72 O.A.C. 140; 90 C.C.C.(3d) 160, refd to. [para. 21].


Paul Scovil, for the Crown;

Donald Murray, for the defence.

This case was heard on July 20, 2006, at Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, by Crawford, P.C.J., of the Nova Scotia Provincial Court, who delivered the following judgment on October 19, 2006.

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