Requirement to Open Window?

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Requirement to Open Window?

by: Hz2P on
Tue May 26, 2015 6:43 pm

I have searched the forum but could not see that this question was asked already, if it has please just refer me to that thread.

We had a discussion in the office today about whether or not you are legally required to open your car window if stopped by police. I remember hearing about a guy in Florida who had a bag he hung out the window with his license, registration and insurance in it.

Section 33 says....

33. (1) Every driver of a motor vehicle or street car shall carry his or her licence with him or her at all times while he or she is in charge of a motor vehicle or street car and shall surrender the licence for reasonable inspection upon the demand of a police officer or officer appointed for carrying out the provisions of this Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 33 (1).


(3) Every person who is unable or refuses to surrender his or her licence in accordance with subsection (1) or (2) shall, when requested by a police officer or officer appointed for carrying out the provisions of this Act, give reasonable identification of himself or herself and, for the purposes of this subsection, the correct name and address of the person shall be deemed to be reasonable identification. 1993, c. 40, s. 3.

Would this "bag of identification" work here?
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by: ynotp on
Wed May 27, 2015 10:33 am

It would not work, there are no absolute rights in Canada. Random spot checks for impaired drivers would require you to open a window. An officer also has the power to check the mechanical fitness of your vehicle at any time and while doing so may require you to exit the vehicle. If it's any consolation you may keep your window shut all you want, so long as you don't mind opening the door. I'm willing to bet that the ziplock bag taped to the window is what will most likely get you pulled over in the first place.
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by: jsherk on
Thu May 28, 2015 9:55 am

There is no law/statute/regulation that requires you to put your window down all the way (well one exception, see the bottom of post).

I will put mine down only about 1 or 2 inches.

Usually the police officer does not like this and will ask you to put it down all the way, but I will simply say "No thank you it is fine like this."

You can also ask them "Am I required by law to put it down all the way? Which section of the HTA or Criminal Code requires me to put it down all the way?"

You will usually get a response like "I need you to put it down so I can check if you have been drinking!" and again I reply with "No thank you."

They can of course threaten you with "Failure to obey" but there has to a lawful order in the first place in order for you be disobeying it.

At a RIDE checkpoint I had one officer threaten to tow my car for being unsafe if I did not put down my window all the way (too bad I did not get it on video because threats are a clear charter violation). Fortunately for me and that first officer there was a second officer standing beside him that recognized the threat and he immediately called the first officer away from my vehicle and told me to have a nice day and that I could leave.

Some people argue that you should just comply with everything an officer asks you to do. I prefer to stand up for my charter rights and make them prove that I need to comply. "I am happy to comply with the law officer, but it is because I am compelled to do it and it is not voluntary."

Now after I have said all that, in theory your window DOES have to roll down all the way to meet safety standards (so you can stick your arm out to make turn signals with it) so if officer goes down that road of looking for safety issues, I would quickly roll it all the way down then put it back up to be open 1 or 2 inches again.

I would also ALWAYS roll it down a little bit though so you can communicate with the officer and so you can pass your drivers license thru.

But I would suggest that you do NOT have to roll it down all the while talking with officer.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++
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by: highwaystar on
Thu May 28, 2015 11:36 am

Actually, as early as 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada held in the Ladoucer decision that an officer can randomly stop vehicles to check the "the mechanical fitness of the vehicle, the possession of a valid licence and proper insurance, and the sobriety of the driver."

So, if you don't want to pull down your window, the officer can simply just demand that you open the door to check your sobriety! The officer was giving you the opportunity for a less-intrusive manner to check your sobriety, but if you don't want to roll down the window, he/she CAN demand a more delaying approach by demanding you open the door or even exist the vehicle if you don't want to do that either! :lol:
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by: OPS Copper on
Thu May 28, 2015 2:14 pm

People need to stop getting their rights from american videos. There are a lot of difference between the two countries and rights. What flies in one may not fly in the other or vice versa.

If I am on a ride program and you do not put your window down you will not be detained. You will be arrested for obstruct police as I am lawful execution of my duty. There will be a short negotiation period while I explain all the consequences and ramifications. But eventually you will be given one final time to comply. This will be in the form of a simple questions such as "Are you refusing to open the window/door? If you do not you will be arrested at that point. How that arrest takes place depends on what you do next.

You many not like it or agree with it but the supreme court has ruled that ride programs are lawful and that is what guides me not some internet video or obscure political belief.

So you will put your window down or open your door so I can access your sobriety. The only part you will control is how it will take place.

That is not up for negotiation.

On a simple traffic stop as long as I get the documents requested I do not care if you open the window or not. I just know that how co-operative some one is determines whether I exercise discretion in warning or charging. No where does it say that I have to issue warnings or reduce tickets.

I always tell friends you will never talk yourself out of a ticket but your actions can sure as heck talk yourself into a ticket.

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by: Mugwug on
Thu May 28, 2015 3:24 pm

Knowing your rights is excellent - it's personally been my experience that those who yell "I know my rights" the loudest usually do not.

Why would you NOT open your window? The officer is looking for impaired drivers, the sooner you answer his basic questions you're on your way, this dogmatic defence of some perceived protection from ANY invasion of privacy (where no privacy truly exists - you're not in your living room, you're driving around on the streets) just makes you stand out, means that the officer has to work that much harder to satisfy himself that you're sober/licenced/etc and drags the entire process out.

Exercise your rights. If you're charged then lawyer up. This passive agressive "I'm not going to do what the officer says because I have rights stuff" benefits no one.
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by: Radar Identified on
Thu May 28, 2015 3:52 pm

jsherk, I don't doubt the sincerity of your beliefs. The fact that you are concerned about your rights is great. HOWEVER... from my side of things... I'm not even that old (36), but I've got a lot of life experience under my belt and work in an industry where if I screw up, many people could end up injured or dead. This tends to make you take the long view, and sort out pretty quickly what's important and what isn't. So, let me offer you this advice: Pick your battles. (Which is what Mugwug is saying... and BTW I'm not a cop, lawyer, paralegal, Justice or anything of the sort.)

Just because you feel you can do something doesn't mean it is a wise choice (or even correct), and it does not mean you'll get a good outcome. The "I need to check if you've been drinking" is legitimate. The notion that you're somehow compromising your rights by lowering the window another few inches is, for lack of a better expression, absurd. That's your decision to make, but you're only making life harder for yourself. As for standing up for rights: Are you there in the court when someone who was wrongfully charged is appearing? Do you volunteer at a legal aid clinic? Do you attend protests when someone's rights get egregiously violated? THAT is standing up for rights.

Trying to show the cops "you're not the boss of me" during a simple traffic stop is a waste of time and energy. I've got more important things to do than try to prove a point with a cop. Do you?
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. * OR
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by: bobajob on
Sat May 30, 2015 4:35 pm

OPS Copper wrote:
...ride programs are lawful and that is what guides me not some internet video or obscure political belief.
^^^ what he said
* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail
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by: jsherk on
Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:26 pm

What about the fact that a RIDE program stop is acting under the Criminal Code, not the HTA? How does this play into the scenario?

And after further thinking about this, this is what I will do from now on:
- I will still only put my window down a couple inches, but when asked to put it down further I will now ask "Am I required to do so by law? And will you charge me if I do not put it down?"
- Stating that "they need to smell my breath" is not an answer to either of these questions. I would ask what law/charge applies (of which I may or may not get an answer).
- If I am advised that yes I will be charged if I don't put it down (whether they tell me what they are going to charge me with or not), then I would reply "I am putting it down because I have put it down. I am not putting it down voluntarily." When faced with a charge for not putting it down, I would definitely put it down but would make sure to state that it is not voluntary.
- When asked for drivers license, insurance, registration I would also provide these with the statement "I am giving these to you because I have to. It am not giving them to you voluntarily."
- For all other questions I will still adhere to my right to say "no comment".
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++
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by: jsherk on
Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:57 pm

If you call standing up for your rights being a dick, then I am guilty.

I refuse to give into a police/nanny state and will take full advantage of my rights that still have not been stolen from us.
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by: curiousottman on
Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:26 pm

I can see it from both sides (police and private citizen) and I'm firmly on the side of standing up for my rights.

I won't go into any tirades about people dying for the rights/privileges you now have or how other people in other countries would love to have the rights we possess, but I will say that when stopped by the police this is exactly the time you NEED YOUR RIGHTS. You should not feel guilty for exercising them nor should the police become upset/threatening that you did.

It is a total dick move for any police officer to threaten arrest under the pretense that you are inhibiting their abilities to do execute their sworn duties during a traffic stop whereby you don't wish to roll your window down 'all of the way' or any minor inconvenience of that nature. If memory serves, they have also sworn an oath to uphold the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms which should trump their tender feelings at any minor traffic stop.

At a RIDE program, the statistics are clear: they are ineffective and statistically insignificant. So to order someone out of their car because they won't roll down their window all of the way serves only to fuel the ego of the LEO because it certainly doesn't serve public safety. If there was clear and convincing probable cause that the driver was intoxicated then sure take the gloves off. But otherwise the likelihood that the LEO is doing anything even remotely important or worthwhile for anyone other than themselves is low.
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