Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Armed thugs bully 82 year-old

In today’s Vancouver Sun:
An 82-year-old Cranbrook ... stone-cold-sober pensioner with poor lung capacity was unable to blow hard enough to activate the roadside screening device, Margaret MacDonald was cited for failing to blow, her licence was suspended, she was fined $500 and her car was towed.
Old but no fool, she quickly went to the local hospital where she had her blood tested for alcohol and obtained a medical certificate that said there was none — zero, nada — in her system.
... the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles adjudicator still found her guilty under the province’s controversial drunk-driving laws.
... MacDonald estimated she was forced to stand for nearly an hour in the middle of the cul-de-sac in the glare of the cruiser’s headlights, her neighbours watching from their windows.
... she maintained [a senior RCMP officer] roughly grabbed the roadside screening unit, inserted it in her mouth and sharply ordered her to blow.
“I could not blow at all,” she said. “... the senior RCMP banged his fist on the squad car and shouted at me:Blow, blow … Your tongue is in the tube. You are doing this on purpose. You are slurring your words. You are drunk. I can smell alcohol on you.’ I said, ‘I don’t drink.’ He barked: ‘They all say that!’”
.... Her attempt to seek redress in B.C. Supreme Court was put on hold late last year because the drunk-driving provisions were already under review.
This is an example of what happens when you combine draconian laws with poor police judgement and an insular state bureaucracy. But Bravo! to Margaret MacDonald for standing her ground and fighting back.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is exactly why this law is so flawed. Guilty until proven innocent and the same people advancing this unconstituional, north korea-esque law are the same ones that complain about Harper wanting to jail convicted criminals.

Anonymous said...

You like driving after a few eh JR?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:55...idiotic comment
Wrong is wrong and this was just wrong.

Alain said...

Any law based on the premise of being guilty until proved innocent is bad law. Armed thugs is an appropriate description.

Pissedoff said...

This is what happens when you give cowards a uniform and a gun. Pity they didn't go after those rioters with the same enthusiasm. Also once again doesn't say much about the justice system in BC.

redtory said...

The story seems a little dubious. It would be interesting to hear it told from another perspective (i.e., that of the "armed thugs" aka the police).

Also, should an 82 year-old that gets inexplicably confused on the road and is supposedly unable to exhale sufficiently to active a breathalyzer really be driving a motor vehicle, especially at night?

I have no great love of police officers, but it's really difficult to imagine them behaving in such an ignorant, dickish fashion as they're portrayed to have done so here.

Anonymous said...

redtory Don't try to change the topic .A hospital certification pointing to ZERO alcohol in her system should be the point of discussion. Her ability to drive (judged by you who wasn't there) is not the subject of this discussion.

Rob C

Anonymous said...

It’s funny to hear these so called Conservatives crying about tough on crime bla bla bla and when there is actually a law that doesn’t allow a criminal to walk free because of some stupid liberal constitutional right, there is nothing but whining from the so called political right!

So she’s an old lady, so sorry, but the message is clear……..don’t even think about breaking the law in B.C.

Great work police thanks for keeping our orads safe.

Anonymous said...

I was stopped by Constable Cranky in a roadside stop last year going down the road to a community fair.
He asked quite sharply "How much I had had to drink today"
When I responded that I had had nothing at all to drink, he stuck his head in the car and asked if I had any open containers and had I had anything to drink?
I replied I had already answered that question.
We had a 30 second staring contest he then asked if I had any alchol on board?
He ordered me to stay stopped and walked to the rear of my SUV. He strated he was going to have a look.
I asked his grounds for a search, he then tried to peer through the windows, they are smoked, and finally ordered me to leave.
I would not unlock my rear door for him.
I was sober I do not drink and drive.
I found this cop's attitude extremely combative and rude.
I realize there is a big problem with drinking and driving.
They did this all over Oceanside for a few months and got nothing but complaints.
I cooperated, answered his accusations politely, but I was not happy, or very impressed.
Cheers Bubba

JR said...

To respond to the acusation in the second comment: No, I don't drink and drive because I don't drink.

Those trying to play partisan politics with this should know that most conservatives are strong on law-and-order and support the police who mostly do a tough job well. But at the same time we dislike dumb, abusive, police-state laws and cops and bureaucrats who are heavy-handed in enforcing them even when presented with clear evidence that they are wrong. There's no contradiction.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but conservatives don't whine about criminals who get found not guilty and go home. We whine about criminals who get convicted and get no jail time. Big difference. We defend the rule of law and this "law" violates it's basic principles.

If this had been a 19 year old man with asthma or some other medical condition like this woman has this would not have made the news. No one would care. It'd be just as bad though.

BTW a breathalizer is by definition inaccurate since it's purpose is to ESTIMATE your blood alcohol level based on a breath sample.

Pissedoff said...

To red tory, you don't believe cops
behave in such an ignorant, dickish fashion as they're portrayed to have done so here. Guess you forgot about the tazering incident and all the lies they told to cover it up.

Don said...

Pissedoff:

Don't forget Geoff Mantler booting Buddy Tavares in the head when the latter was clearly in a submissive position following instruction during an arrest.

Or the four officers in the YVR incident who will go on trial for purgery.

There are bad cops out there. The problem isn't that they made it through initial screening. It's that they are not properly dealt with when found.

rabbit said...

All of those old grannies are guilty as sin. Society needs protection. Convict them all and let God sort it out.