Hi there, I wanted to know if anyone knew what the law is in regards to public school parking lots in Ontario.
Recently, I was with my friend stopped in the public school parking lot near their house. The car lights were on, because I was just dropping them there and didn’t want to waste gas (plus they talk a lot, so I expected a 5-10 min delay). They said to not drop them off at their house, I don’t know why, but whatever. We had just got back from getting food, and they were finishing up their story... maybe sat there for about 3 minutes. An officer pulled up behind me with his lights on, so I turned the car lights off, and I rolled down the window.
He looked inside using his flashlight then proceeded to ask me if I had been drinking because he smelled alcohol.. to which I had stated no... but we have noodles.. he then asked why we were in the parking lot, so my friend said I was dropping them off here. He then asked where they lived and they said just down the street. He also asked what we were doing, etc.. after all the questions he asked for my drivers licence and my friends licence as well. Walked away, came back 10 min later.. and said the alcohol he smelled must have been hand sanitizer.. (which I actually did not have).
My question is, what are my rights? Was I not allowed to stop at the public school parking after hours? Did I have to provide my ID when I hadn’t done anything wrong?
These are not necessarily Highway Traffic Act issues.
While on any Ontario highway, an officer can stop you and ask for license, insurance, and permit any time they want.
A school parking lot in practically every case will be considered private property. What that means is the Highway Traffic Act doesn't apply. However, that doesn't mean private property is the wild west and you're free to do as you please.
When dealing with the possibility of intoxication behind the wheel, I'm almost certain an officer can demand identification. You can be charged criminally for drinking behind the wheel even if you're on private property and the car isn't moving. Again, not a Highway Traffic Act issue as any potential charges would fall under the criminal code. Not that i'm accusing you of anything, i'm just explaining the possible reasoning here.
There's also the risk, albeit slim, of a trespassing charge for being on private property without a valid reason to be at the school or in the parking lot.
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