R. v. Blair

[1988] N.S.J. No. 1

Facts

NS SC A

After arriving at the bank building the officers observed a chip out of the corner of the building and automobile parts scattered around. At the rear of the bank building were three or four people milling about a Toyota station wagon, which had extensive front-end damage. The two police officers approached this group and asked who the driver was. The appellant who was standing a few feet from the passenger door of the station wagon replied that he was the driver. Cst. Debison detected a strong odor of alcohol on the respondent's breath and noticed that his eyes were red and bloodshot and that he was unsteady on his feet.

Issue

NS SC A

1) Is the statement made by the appellant to a police officer that he was the driver of the car can be received in evidence, when no voir dire had been held to ascertain whether or not it was a free and voluntary statement? 2) Interpretation of the words "care or control" as such appear in the then Code s. 236

Held

NS SC A

�There was both a tacit waiver by defence counsel of the voir dire and an admission that the appellant's statement that he was the driver was made freely and voluntarily. I would therefore reject this ground of appeal.� �In the present case the appellant's "course of conduct associated with the vehicle" was the uncontradicted evidence that he said he was the driver and the unchallenged evidence that he referred to the station wagon as his.�

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