Drive Under Suspension/Speeding 121km/h in posted 80

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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:54 pm

Drive Under Suspension/Speeding 121km/h in posted 80

by: Dupac on
Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:16 pm

I was driving my motorcycle, with valid Alberta license plate, insurance, and an Alberta driver's license in my wallet when I was stopped for speeding on HWY 9, at Regional Road 50 on Oct 19, 2010. After communicating with dispatch, the officer waited for a telephone call from MTO, who advised him my license was under suspension for non-payment of fines, and the notice was deemed served to my last known address. My motorcycle was then towed to my parent's residence, and I was given two summonses, for Drive under Suspension and Speeding. I was charged $250 on the spot for the towing once arrived. I then remembered a letter that was delivered to my parents address, in Ontario, where I had previously lived, prior to moving to Alberta. The letter, dated Apr 26, 2010 and addressed to my former residence in Ontario, states that my license number D9020-*****-*****, was suspended, effective as of that date, for unpaid fines. I have held an Alberta driver's license since July 15, 2009. The unpaid fine was from a ticket I had received in Dryden, Ontario on August 17, 2009, which was filled out with Alberta license number 1-5******, and my address in Edmonton.

My argument with regards to the Drive under suspension charge is this: I understand that while my no-longer-in-use Ontario driver's license number is used for tracking purposes, my last known address would have been communicated to the MTO when I exchanged my Ontario license for an Albertan one. Even if that were not the case, wouldn't my last known address be the one on the ticket? If they are able to associate the 2 licenses with each other, surely the information contained within those licenses would be accessible.

As for the speeding charge, while my original intent was to consider a plea bargain with the prosecutor, to plead to this in exchange for withdrawal of the Drive under Suspension charge, my last meeting has since soured me from this option. This has led to me poring through the disclosure, looking for inconsistencies. I believe I have found several:

- Both the typed and hand written versions of the officers notes state that he was operating a LTI Marksman 20.20 LIDAR unit. However, the supplied manual pages are testing protocol for a non-specific model manufactured by a company named SpeedLaser.

- Neither version of the notes indicate an estimated speed before LIDAR confirmation. The handwritten version has "MC E/B lane 2 of 2 - Read 121/121 km/h - last reading 136 m." The typed copy reads "...when he observed a motorcycle traveling eastbound well above the posted 80km/h speed limit. NAME REDACTED started a tracking history of the vehicle which was obviously decelerating having seen the officer's fully marked OPP cruiser. NAME REDACTED obtained two seperate readings of 121km/h with his LIDAR unit which was consistant with his visual observations"
Not only is there no initial speed estimate, if the visual tracking history is accurate, how would it be possible to obtain two identical readings if I was "obviously decelerating?"

-Handwritten notes indicate "Just W/O 50 Northside" as his location at the time of LIDAR operation. He was in fact located on the South side, pulled in to his location (red arrow), which meant he had to reverse out to pull me (black arrow) over, which I instead did voluntarily at the location indicated (yellow star) (on the shoulder, not as a result of red light)


I understand that being an absolute liability offence, it only must be proven that I was speeding; the extent to which is unnecessary. What I am calling in to question is the reliability of both the officer's testimony and notes. His notes indicated nothing else that seemed strange to me. His LIDAR testing, which I cannot accurately question without proper documentation, was performed both before and after the incident.

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High Authority
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by: Stanton on
Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:12 pm

How come you're not interested in the plea deal? I'm not sure about Alberta insurance, but in Ontario most offences get ranked as minor, major or serious. Minor offences (which even 40 over probably falls under) typically have no rate hikes for first time offences, and 5-15% hikes on each additional conviction. Drive suspend on the other hand is considered a serious offence, which can easily double your insurance rates even on a first conviction. You also risk an additional 6 month licence suspension, which would be applicable in Alberta as well.

You have some issues that could be raised at trial in terms of the speeding offence, but I'm not seeing anything that sounds like a sure thing, especially to fight the drive suspend charge. I'd at least consult with some legal representation to weigh your chances of winning at trial before risking a conviction for drive suspend.
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