Electric Bike DUI Impoundment?

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Electric Bike DUI Impoundment?

by: Thai on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:01 pm

My father had previously gotten a DUI in his vehicle. Then shortly after they got him again on his cheapo Canadian Tire electric bike. He's old and didn't know such laws regardin the electric bike.

Now we have the option of getting the bike back, but apparently it's in a tow truck yard being stored. I'm scared to see how much they're going to want for us to get it back considering it's been about 3 weeks.

I guess my question is, do they even have the right to impound the bike like this? It's not a bicycle, yet not a motor vehicle... Are they trying to hose us hoping we don't know better?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks. :(


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by: Thai on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:12 pm

Whoa, just saw this:

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/ ... .shtml#a17

Drinking and driving a motor vehicle is a Criminal Code offence and charges are laid under the Criminal Code of Canada. Under the Criminal Code, the definition of a "motor vehicle" would include an e-bike and anyone operating an e-bike intoxicated could be charged for impaired driving. If convicted, the offender would be subject to the Criminal Code penalties, including a fine or jail time, and a driving prohibition. However, under this pilot regulation, an e-bike would not be a motor vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act, so penalties for impaired driving under the Act would not apply.

Does that mean they can't charge him?!


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by: Squishy on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:45 pm

An electric bicycle (power-assisted bicycle) is a bicycle as far as the HTA is concerned, aside from the fact that you must be over 16 to ride one and you must wear a helmet.

If it was road legal to begin with (limited to 32 km/h and whatever else the MTO requires) then it does not qualify as a motor vehicle, excluding it from Criminal Code impaired/over 80 charges as well as the HTA administrative suspension. Careless driving charges can apply.
Last edited by Squishy on Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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by: Thai on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:52 pm

Thanks for the reply. So he definitely can't be charged with DUI, let alone an impoundment? What should we do now then?


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by: hwybear on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:06 pm

Squishy wrote: If it was road legal to begin with (limited to 32 km/h and whatever else the MTO requires) then it does not qualify as a motor vehicle, excluding it from Criminal Code impaired/over 80 charges as well as the HTA administrative suspension. Careless driving charges can apply.
HTA and Criminal Code definitions for a motor vehicle are different
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: Squishy on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:25 pm

Oops, was just thinking "impaired" and "bicycle." Had a bit of impairment myself with my pizza. :oops:

So while the licence suspension can't be applied, he would not have been allowed to continue driving while impaired, thus the vehicle was towed.
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by: Thai on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:55 pm

Does anyone have a link to the Criminal Code? I can't seem to find it anywhere.

*Edit* I found it.

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/ShowTdm/cs ... 0090929/en

It doesn't define power-assisted bicycles as a motor vehicle. So this has got to be a BS charge.
Last edited by Thai on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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by: Thai on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:27 pm

"motor vehicle"
« véhicule à moteur »

"motor vehicle" means a vehicle that is drawn, propelled or driven by any means other than muscular power, but does not include railway equipment;



This is interesting because I have a clipping from the newspaper that mentioned when my dad got pulled over.

Quoted in the newspaper article:

"Police want to remind riders of electric bikes that they are defined as motor vehicles in the Criminal Code and anyone operating one while impaired can be charged with alcohol-related driving offences."

Is there an amendment to the definition of Motor Vehicle in the Criminal Code that I am unaware of?


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by: Squishy on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:35 pm

An electric motor qualifies as "other than muscular power" so it is a motor vehicle under the Criminal Code.

O.Reg 473 allows a power-assisted bicycle to be treated as simply a bicycle under the HTA as long as it meets the standards of the CMVSA. However, that is provincial legislation and cannot modify the Criminal Code.
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by: Thai on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:46 pm

Squishy wrote:An electric motor qualifies as "other than muscular power" so it is a motor vehicle under the Criminal Code.

O.Reg 473 allows a power-assisted bicycle to be treated as simply a bicycle under the HTA as long as it meets the standards of the CMVSA. However, that is provincial legislation and cannot modify the Criminal Code.
I also found this:

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/ ... -faq.shtml

If a police officer stopped someone who is drunk while driving an e-bike, how would they be charged? Would this be a Criminal Code offence? HTA offence?

Drinking and driving a motor vehicle is a Criminal Code offence and charges are laid under the Criminal Code of Canada. Under the Criminal Code, the definition of a "motor vehicle" would include an e-bike and anyone operating an e-bike intoxicated could be charged for impaired driving. If convicted, the offender would be subject to the Criminal Code penalties, including a fine or jail time, and a driving prohibition. However, under this pilot regulation, an e-bike would not be a motor vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act, so penalties for impaired driving under the Act would not apply.


So from what I gather, they can charge him with Impaired over 80 from the Criminal Code, but maybe can't punish him? That doesn't make much sense.


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by: Squishy on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:09 pm

It means that he can be charged criminally and suffer those consequences (fine, imprisonment, driving prohibition), but they can't administer the roadside licence suspension which is under the Highway Traffic Act. That includes the new 50 milligram roadside suspension, but if he is impaired at that level then it once again falls under the Criminal Code.
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by: Thai on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:20 pm

So pretty much we're SOL.

Impoundment applies.
Charge can't be fought.

:( :( :(




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by: racer on
Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:57 pm

At least for the impound charges, you can try to call some impound lots for the price and press the owner on that.
"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
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