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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 01-23-2011, 11:11 AM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - Investigating Personation

It was always a challenge when the violator failed to produce their driver's license. Were they being truthful when they told me that they had forgotten it at home? Did the name, address and birth date that they gave me belong to someone else? That honest face was occasionally nothing more than window dressing.

The motives were many, no valid license, prohibited from driving, wanted for a criminal offence, even people illegally in Canada. If I didn't have the grounds to arrest the driver and hold them until I was satisfied that they were properly identified I had to do my best at the roadside. If there was a passenger in the vehicle they were often part of my investigation.

When I informed the passenger that the driver was in violation of the Motor Vehicle Act and required them to identify the driver to me it was an offence for them to refuse or give false information. On rare occasions this did happen and the passengers were quite surprised to be ticketed along with the driver after I resolved the situation.

The ticket was minimal punishment for circumstances that could be considered to be obstructing a peace officer when false information was furnished. This is a criminal offence that could have serious repercussions in the passenger's future. Helping a friend try to avoid trouble in this manner is something that you should think twice about!

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Old 01-24-2011, 10:15 AM   #2
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I'm sure a lot of people here know the term "impersonating a police officer" (mostly from watching TV, no doubt)... so what's the difference between "personation" and "IMpersonation"? (Interesting - Chrome's spellchecker does't like "personation" )
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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I just followed the wording in the Criminal Code....

My friend Google says:

personate - pose: pretend to be someone you are not; sometimes with fraudulent intentions
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
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Interesting... "impersonate" comes up with pretty much the same definition. There must be some subtle legal difference somewhere...
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:14 PM   #5
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:28 PM   #6
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Is there still a option the police officer has to give the vehicle operator a 24hour period to bring their Drivers License into his municipalities city hall..... or police station?
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:50 AM   #7
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The law requires that you immediately produce the DL...and actually requires you to hand it to them and answer questions about your identity from it...see other posts here about "personation". Police may decide to give a notice and order to produce the DL...in addition to any fine...or instead of a fine. There is no "produce it within 24 hours" provision in the MV Act.

Production of licence and liability card, duplicates
33 (1) Every person, except

(a) a person driving or operating a motor vehicle exempted under section 2 (5) or section 8 or 10, or

(b) a person driving or operating a motor vehicle of a fire department of a municipality,

must have his or her driver's licence and driver's certificate and a motor vehicle liability insurance card or financial responsibility card, issued for the motor vehicle he or she is driving or operating, in his or her possession at all times while driving or operating that motor vehicle on a highway, and must produce the licence, certificate and card for inspection on demand of a peace officer.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:21 PM   #8
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I didn't ask if it was in the MVA. I heard of this happening to a family friend years ago and that was a option given.
Would you care to explain the law about refusing to produce ID when another person is the driver and you are just a passenger?
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:26 PM   #9
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There is obviously some sort of discretion from the Police Officer - which will not be in the MVA. That is why sometimes people get off with a warning, as opposed to a violation ticket.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:34 PM   #10
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There is obviously some sort of discretion from the Police Officer - which will not be in the MVA. That is why sometimes people get off with a warning, as opposed to a violation ticket.
Yeah I understand that. Just replying to zulutangos response of there is no "show your DL in 24 hrs time frame" reply.
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:39 PM   #11
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I didn't ask if it was in the MVA. I heard of this happening to a family friend years ago and that was a option given.

As I said...the option is up to the Cop...but many people seem to be under the misunderstanding that they get 24 hrs to produce the DL...which is why I showed you the legal setup and the Cop's options.

Would you care to explain the law about refusing to produce ID when another person is the driver and you are just a passenger?
If the passenger was the owner they are required by the MV Act to identify the driver. If the Police believe that personation (a 7 year jail term under the CC) is taking place, they have the right to question people in their investigation...and that includes the passengers who may have information that identifies the driver. A refusal may result in a possible instruction charge, specially if you lie and misidentify the driver. It all comes down to the actual circumstances involved and my reply can only be general in nature.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:54 PM   #12
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Yeah I understand that. Just replying to zulutangos response of there is no "show your DL in 24 hrs time frame" reply.
If you understand that, you should have also understood that there is no law, requirement, case law, common law, or anything else that says that police can/will/might give you 24hrs to show your DL. If the police officer does that, its of his/her own goodwill and, in my opinion, poor judgement. There is nothing binding that person to show up and show their licence, we're not allowed to take any sort of collateral, thereby making it too easy to just not show up.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:00 PM   #13
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Is there still a option the police officer has to give the vehicle operator a 24hour period to bring their Drivers License into his municipalities city hall..... or police station?
sho_bc ..... As you see I said option as in the police officers judgement, and choice. Just generally giving an example of from what I have heard from a example.

Zulutango - Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:25 AM   #14
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i have heard of officers letting drivers produce there DL(within a couple hours) and having the VT ripped up...


edit that was for lack of proof of insurance!!

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Old 01-26-2011, 07:58 AM   #15
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I've told the story before... cop outside of Kelowna who looked me up from my SIN number because I'd forgotten my license at home, then let me go on my way with only a Box 3 for my badly-cracked windshield. This despite the van itself not being in my name (work vehicle). Saved the day, since I was on my way to a jobsite. So yes, cops ARE intelligent enough to use some discretion... plus I think he appreciated the irony that I didn't have my license because I'd taken it out of my wallet to be photocopied for a criminal record check.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:05 AM   #16
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So...did you pass the CR check...don't keep us in suspense!!!!
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:13 PM   #17
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Of course! Had to do it to volunteer for St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs program
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:04 PM   #18
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question: What if you license was stolen? I know it can be reported to the police, and the police can see that. I've had a situation where my wallet was stolen, and it was on a weekend evening. I reported to police right away (They actually found it, 1.5 years later lol). I never got pulled over, but this thread got me thinking.

Also, a little off topic: If I'm walking down the street, can a PO approach me and demand identification and search me? What if I don't have any on me? Can they hold me?

Now, I'm not talking about me walking down the street looking into cars or whatever. Just walking down, middle of the day with a slurpee and a cigarette, etc.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:06 PM   #19
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FYI, that happened to my friend once. He got slammed onto the hood of his car right in front of his house. Just kept harrassing him until his mom came out screaming that he actually does live there.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:24 AM   #20
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I'm wondering if I should ask what "position" you took??????
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:28 AM   #21
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question: What if you license was stolen? I know it can be reported to the police, and the police can see that. I've had a situation where my wallet was stolen, and it was on a weekend evening. I reported to police right away (They actually found it, 1.5 years later lol). I never got pulled over, but this thread got me thinking.

Also, a little off topic: If I'm walking down the street, can a PO approach me and demand identification and search me? What if I don't have any on me? Can they hold me?

Now, I'm not talking about me walking down the street looking into cars or whatever. Just walking down, middle of the day with a slurpee and a cigarette, etc.
I think this has been covered b4 but they would need grounds to check you as a ped who has broken no laws...eg if you matched the description of someone they were looking for...that sort of thing. if you were arrested by them then they can search you incidental to arrest. If they arrested yiou then they are holding you.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:51 AM   #22
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If you understand that, you should have also understood that there is no law, requirement, case law, common law, or anything else that says that police can/will/might give you 24hrs to show your DL. If the police officer does that, its of his/her own goodwill and, in my opinion, poor judgement. There is nothing binding that person to show up and show their licence, we're not allowed to take any sort of collateral, thereby making it too easy to just not show up.
Couldn't a PO order a warrant for someone who failed to show up to produce ID as requested? Or is that court only. Although I guess that wouldn't exactly work would it since they didn't have proper ID to begin with (go by description maybe?).
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:22 AM   #23
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I'm wondering if I should ask what "position" you took??????
Dog handler, silly. My wife and I bring our three mini-mutts once a week to visit people at a seniors' home and cheer them up. They're quite the hit!
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:11 PM   #24
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Our two Westies should go on a road trip to mett your dogs. Mine are also used to entertaining old folks too....me!
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:55 AM   #25
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Couldn't a PO order a warrant for someone who failed to show up to produce ID as requested? Or is that court only. Although I guess that wouldn't exactly work would it since they didn't have proper ID to begin with (go by description maybe?).
No warrant would be issued for many reasons. Besides, how are we supposed to know who we want to arrest, if we didn't identify the person in the first place (and when were lawfully authorized to do so)? We would have no grounds to swear the warrant as we don't know who we were dealing with. We'd be laughed out of the courthouse by the Judge/JP reading the warrant. There are too many lawful things we could have done to avoid putting ourselves in that position.

As for descriptors, there are generally going to be TONS of people with similar descriptors in any given area. In my case, there is someone who looks different to me, but has similar descriptors (6'0-6'4, 180-200lbs, white, light skin - I can't tan for the life of me - light brown hair), who was born on the same year, month, day as me and has the same name as me who lives in Vancouver as well.
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