Nova Scotia

Liberal MLA fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to drunk driving

A judge has fined Liberal backbencher Hugh MacKay $2,000 and stripped him of his driver's licence for a year after the MLA for Chester-St. Margarets agreed he drove drunk on Oct. 13.

Hugh MacKay found with blood alcohol more than two times the legal limit

Hugh MacKay has been fined $2,000 and his driver's licence suspended for one year after pleading guilty to drunk driving. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

A provincial court judge has fined Hugh MacKay $2,000 and stripped the Liberal backbencher of his driver's licence for a year after the MLA for Chester-St. Margarets agreed he drove drunk on Oct. 13.

MacKay pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit at a court appearance Friday afternoon.

Judge Gregory Lenehan agreed to a joint recommendation made by the Crown prosecutor and MacKay's lawyer after the Crown's evidence was read aloud to an almost empty courtroom.

Prosecutor Sean McCarroll told the court that when authorities took a sample of MacKay's breath he recorded two fails. He recorded 0.180 and 0.190. both more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

McCarroll said police were alerted to the possibility that MacKay was driving drunk by his brother-in-law, who called police after an argument between the two at the brother-in-law's home.

Police stop MacKay near his home

Police arrived at MacKay's home. MacKay appeared at the scene, backed up and then drove off.

Police stopped his vehicle a short distance away.

Officers reported the vehicle had a strong odour of alcohol and there was a glass of what appeared to be alcohol in a cup holder in the centre console of the SUV.

They recorded his movements as laboured and slow, noting he was unsteady on his feet when he exited the vehicle.

After he was arrested and en route to the Tantallon RCMP detachment, he asked the officer if the arrest was "politically motivated."

Neither MacKay nor his lawyer contested the facts laid out by the Crown.

Before the judge's verdict, MacKay said he took full responsibility for his actions. He told the judge he had sought the help of the province's employee assistance program and addictions services, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous.

He promised, with help, he intended "to never appear before you again."

As he entered the Spring Garden Road courthouse, before his appearance, MacKay told CBC News: "I am regretful that I have to be here today but I take full responsibility my actions and I look forward to moving forward."


  • A previous version of this story misidentified the judge in this case as Michael Sherar. In fact, the judge was Gregory Lenehan. The story has been corrected.
    Nov 08, 2019 4:58 PM AT