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Charged for other offence with going through ride program
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:03 pm 
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So this morning I come up to what appears to be a ride program. As the officer waves me up to him, he says "why is your front plate in your dash?" I asked him what the reason for stopping me was and all he said was please pull to the side.

The officer then approached me and asked for my DL INS and OWN. I provided him with all 3 documents and he said be right back. After 20!, 20! minutes he returns and says I am issuing you a ticket for not displaying two plates. I then asked the officer what was the reason for stopping me today. He said "its a ride program". I then said when I approached you, you did not say it was a ride program or ask me if I had anything to drink. He then said "well, I would be able to smell it".

I then thanked him and drove away. What do you guys think about this? To myself, It seems that the officer was not conducting his primary duty at the time which was to check for impaired drivers. He in no way asked me if I have had anything to drink. He also pointed to the plate in my dash before I was close enough to him where he could "smell" the alcohol.

What is your opinion on this? Thank you


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Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:06 pm 
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Can police issue a ticket for a non-drinking related offence in a ride program?

I was issued a ticket for no front plate while going through a ride program.

It is my understanding that the SCC ruled that ride programs are justified in that the removal of freedom of the person is acceptable because of the removal of impaired drivers from the road. In other words, the benefits outweigh the costs. However, I thought it was also ruled that RIDE checks may only be used for that purpose, and not for any other investigation?


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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:22 pm 
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The short answer is yes.

While then goal of a RIDE programme may be to target impaired drivers, it doesn’t limit police from investigating other offences which they may discover in good faith. When you drive up to such a programme with no front plate, it’s readily apparent you’re committing an H.T.A. offence. The officer is then free to switch gears from RIDE check to HTA investigation.


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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:34 pm 
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Thank you Stanton.

There are a few points I wish to state.

In the case of R. v. Mellenthin, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615, it is stated that "The primary aim of check stop programs, which result in the arbitrary detention of motorists, is to check for sobriety, licences, ownership, insurance and the mechanical fitness of cars"

I do not see how a licence plate would fit any of these categories- It is not a mechanical issue, I provided the PO with DL, INS and OWN, and was sober.

Also, there were only 2 POs conducting the RIDE checkpoint. At the time I was signaled to the side, the other officer was tending to another vehicle which had been pulled over. Therefore, as the officer who issued me the ticket spent 20 minutes in his cruiser writing the ticket, cars were FREELY passing through the RIDE program.

The purpose of the RIDE program is to take impaired drivers off of the road, yet, for 20 minutes, cars freely passed through the checkpoint...therefore, as stated, the officer "switched gears" from RIDE check to HTA investigation, however, I was only stopped because of the RIDE program and the only purpose for the officer being in that location was to conduct RIDE stops. How can this be okay? Apparently, a simple licence plate violation is more important than drunk drivers committing criminal offences?

In my opinion, the officer went out of his way to issue me a PON for a very minor offence while he should have been conducting RIDE stops to check for drunk drivers.

I might add, I am a young male who was driving an expensive sports car - seems like a was targeted


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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:03 am 
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While you make feel that this was unfair, the law supports the officer's actions. There is nothing to say that an officer must ask if you had been drinking, often a random conversation can be used through which the officer could detect signs of impairment such as slurred speech, glassy eyes, odour of liquor etc.

Your argument that they should have just ignored your, and by extension any, HTA infraction would result in vehicles with all sorts of violations being allowed to pass through a police checkpoint. This is nonsensical and I have no doubt the JP would think the same.

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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:15 am 
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arnoldstheman wrote:
There are a few points I wish to state.

In the case of R. v. Mellenthin, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615, it is stated that "The primary aim of check stop programs, which result in the arbitrary detention of motorists, is to check for sobriety, licences, ownership, insurance and the mechanical fitness of cars"

I do not see how a licence plate would fit any of these categories- It is not a mechanical issue, I provided the PO with DL, INS and OWN, and was sober


LICENCES would include vehicle LICENCE plates. Having a PRIMARY aim does not imply that incidental issues that come up will be ignored.


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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:14 pm 
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This is not a general police checkpoint. It is a RIDE program. The primary aim is not to target people for driving offences, it is to remove drunk drivers for the road. There is a reason the whole idea of ride checks went to the supreme court of Canada, it is a violation of the charter. However, it was ruled that this infringement on citizens is necessary for the security of citizens because impaired drivers are being removed from the road.

As I stated earlier, this was not a RIDE program conducted with several officers. There were only 2 officers conducting the RIDE stops. Therefore, the officer neglected his primary duty to check for impaired drivers to issue me a PON for a minor offence.

I also stated that a random conversation was not initialized. The officer pointed at my plate on the dash as I approached him and said it cannot be there and too pull over. He did not check if I was impaired before he detained me for the HTA violation.

There are numerous times when police may be engaging in a minor traffic stops and a call comes in over the radio signally all units to respond. So while he may have been legally allowed to issue me a ticket, there is still a precedent set here. The primary and significantly more important goal of the RIDE check was to search for impaired drivers.

If an officer were to pull me over me over for the same offence and then witnessed a violent assault at the side of the road, I guess he can ignore it because he is legally issuing me a PON??

No, there are always levels of the severeness of laws and certain ones must be attended to before others, especially when the primary goal is to attend to the serious offence in a RIDE program which is of course impaired driving.

You say a JP will think it is nonsensical to allow cars with HTA violations to pass through a police checkpoint. Will the JP not think it is nonsensical to allow potential drunk drivers to pass through a RIDE check because of a minor HTA violation?

I understand that the law may have supported the officers actions, however, I believe I do have a descent defense here.

LICENCES would not include LICENCE plates in that way- it is referring to the legal licencing of a vehicle, including DL, OWN, INS and that is has plates and is registered. The ticket is my case is for wrongful placement of the front plate. The car is plated.


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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:51 pm 
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Stating the officer should have remained diligent for impaired drivers is not a defence. This type of argument arises frequently in Court, where motorists state there were other people committing more serious offences at the time they were stopped. The Court is not interested in the other offenders, only whether the person before the Courts committed the offence for which they were charged. Unless there was a Charter violation in how you were stopped (something you’ve yet to demonstrate), arguments regarding what the officer should have been doing are irrelevant. If you’re going to trial you need another strategy.


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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:42 am 
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An officer doesn't need the ride program to pull you over and ask for license and registration. He can do that anytime anyone is on the road driving a vehicle.

As for the "drunk drivers are getting away" argument, you can make that argument with any ticket in the history of pulling people over.

arnoldstheman wrote:
I might add, I am a young male who was driving an expensive sports car - seems like a was targeted


Maybe it's because you drive with your plate on your dash, which only serves as a big "hey, did you notice I don't have a front plate attached to my vehicle? Please pull me over". You're probably better off with no plates at all. There's no difference.


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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:53 pm 
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arnoldstheman wrote:

If an officer were to pull me over me over for the same offence and then witnessed a violent assault at the side of the road, I guess he can ignore it because he is legally issuing me a PON??

...

You say a JP will think it is nonsensical to allow cars with HTA violations to pass through a police checkpoint. Will the JP not think it is nonsensical to allow potential drunk drivers to pass through a RIDE check because of a minor HTA violation?

I understand that the law may have supported the officers actions, however, I believe I do have a descent defense here.



I think you are descending into the ridiculous here. Of course an officer would leave you to deal with a violent assault. He'd leave an impaired driver to deal with a violent assault if he had to.

You are arguing that he shouldn't deal with an offence that is in plain view because he might miss something else that he doesn't have any evidence is happening.

I think you'll get crucified in court but go for it !

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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:06 pm 
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I had a similar experience about 10 years ago. I was driving my car (which was registered in Quebec where I was living at the time, and also had a Quebec drivers license), and Quebec is one of many Canadian provinces that does not issue a front plate - only a rear license plate. So I came upon a ride spot check, in Ontario, and the office asked me where my front plate was. I told him this is a Quebec registered car, and Quebec does not issue front plates. He walked to the back of my car, and saw my Quebec plate, and also noticed there was no sticker on the plate, since they no longer issue stickers for plates. I told him this, but he didn't believe me, so I got my registration out, and luckily there was a note on it, in English, that said something like "Notice to police officers outside of Quebec, since 1992 the province of Quebec has abolished the use of license plate stickers, please ignore any that are in place." Each year when you renew your license plate, they give you a new registration paper which shows the new expiry date, so there's proof that it's valid. I also had a valid insurance slip.

Luckily I had proof of all of this. I wasn't trying to be smug about it, but I felt like the office was being a bit harsh on something he was not informed about, and he almost seemed disappointed that I proved him wrong. He gave my papers back and sent my on my way. Like the orignal poster, I was not even asked if I had anything to drink, though, as mentioned, the officers are trained to spot impairment while speaking with the driver. In any case, I had not been drinking, so I had nothing to worry about even if he did pursue it. The worst that happened was that I was delayed for about 5 minutes.


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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:04 am 
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I'm not quite sure what side of this discussion you are arguing. It appears that the officer did exactly as he should have.

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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:10 pm 
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I can see the argument from the other side. The reason I am having such a hard time with accepting the charge is because of the way I was detained. To me, by the officer failing to tell me he was conducting a ride checkpoint, and failing to ask if I have had anything to drink was not right.

As I stated, the officer pointed to my front plate as I pulled up toward him, before he would be able to smell any alcohol or visually see if I was impaired or not. He simply pointed to my plate and said pull over and then issued me a PON. The way I was stopped makes it appear that the officer was setting up a road stop to check for any violation, this to me would be a charter breach.

This is going to be a tough one to beat, but I'm sure going to try!


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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:54 pm 
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You're much better off buying front a license plate bracket, keep the receipt; take lots of pictures of your car with the plate installed. Explain why you had your license plate unattached to the prosecutor. There is a real chance the prosecutor may actually withdraw the charge.

Maybe worth reading: topic5285.html#p29833

R. v. Ladouceur, [1990]1 SCR 1257, 1990 CanLII 108 (SCC)
Quote:
While the routine check is an arbitrary detention in violation of s. 9 of the Charter, the infringement is one that is reasonable and demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
I don't see the charter breach here, any law enforcement officer in Ontario will give you a ticket for not displaying your front license plate properly. It's the same as OPP officers parked on highway on-ramps looking for hand-held, seatbelt & equipment violations. They will point at your plate, and pull you over in the exact same manner.


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Re: Ticket In RIDE program?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:10 am 
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Thanks for the advice, already on top of that. Plate has been installed and pics taken. While I agree with what you are saying, the point I am trying to make is ride programs are legal for the reasons which you quoted, however, police cannot just set up random checkpoints to search for any HTA violations.

While I agree with what you are saying that the OPP wait on ramps to search for such offences, I highly doubt they are forcing every vehicle to stop and then search for violations....the rights of the drivers are not impeded until the officer notices the violation. In my case, I was stopped at a checkpoint for a ride check where police were searching for impaired drivers before my HTA violation was pointed out. Therefore, it would seem that my charter right was taken away, because I was detained for possibly committed an HTA offence, and then as I moved up the line of cars waiting to be checked, the officer pointed to my plate. The stop was not to check if any HTA violations had been committed, it was to check for impaired drivers.

Police cannot set up road checks on highway ramps and STOP vehicles in search for HTA violations, however, they can search for violations while vehicles are travelling in the normal course of traffic, therefore, not breaching their charter right.

I understand what people are saying here, and I appreciate the advice, I am just simply trying to explain the situation from my perspective.


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