Judge will consider breathalyzer in Whitehorse trial

A judge will allow evidence from breathalyzer tests in the trial of Michael Schmidt, 30. The Whitehorse, Yukon, man faces six dangerous and impaired driving charges causing bodily harm relating to December 2009 accident.

Defense lawyer unsuccessfully argued test violated Schmidt's charter rights

A judge has ruled that he will allow evidence from breathalyzer tests to be considered in a trial.

Michael Schmidt, 30, has pleaded not guilty to six counts of impaired and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

The charges stem from a December 2009 car crash, in which one of the passengers, 23-year-old Jessica Frotten, lost the use of her legs.

Schmidt’s lawyer, Gord Coffin, had argued unsuccessfully that the evidence from two breathalyzer tests should not be permissible in court because Schmidt’s charter rights were violated when an RCMP officer administered the tests.

Coffin said the officer, Const. Ryan Hack, did not have ‘reasonable and probable grounds’ to administer the test. Coffin said Hack only had a suspicion that Schmidt was impaired.

Crown Prosecutor Bonnie MacDonald argued Hack had reasonable grounds because Schmidt had admitted to drinking earlier on the day of the accident, he smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot, watery eyes.

Hack did not have a roadside screening device with him.

Schmidt did two breathalyzer tests later at the RCMP detachment. Both showed under the legal limit.

Thursday morning, Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale ruled police did, in fact, have reasonable and probable grounds to administer the breathalyzer.