Nova Scotia

Chester MLA charged again for impaired driving

The Liberal MLA for Chester-St. Margaret's Hugh MacKay is once again facing a charge of driving while impaired, this time for an incident dating back to 2018.

Hugh MacKay pleaded guilty to separate charge of impaired driving late last year

Hugh MacKay enters court in Halifax in November 2019. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

Liberal backbencher Hugh MacKay is once again facing a charge of impaired driving, this time for an offence dating back to Nov. 22, 2018. 

According to court documents, the MLA for Chester-St. Margaret's "was impaired by alcohol or drug … at or near Stillwater Lake," near Upper Tantallon.

RCMP laid the charge and served MacKay with papers earlier this month, according to Cpl.Lisa Croteau.

In an email to CBC News on Saturday, MacKay said the RCMP recently issued an appearance notice to him with respect to an offence "alleged to have taken place 15 months ago."

"I look forward to finding out what the basis of this allegation is when that information has been disclosed to my lawyer," MacKay wrote.

"In the meantime, I remain committed to performing my duties as the MLA for the riding of Chester-St. Margarets."

Late last year, MacKay pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit in relation to an incident on Oct. 13, 2019. He was fined $2,000 and prohibited from driving for a year.

The court heard that 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 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 there was a strong odour of alcohol in the car and there was a glass of what appeared to be alcohol in a cup holder in the centre console of the SUV.

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.

MacKay is scheduled to appear at Halifax provincial court on March 16.

With files from Anjuli Patil