Giving a police officer a Tim Hortons gift card could be a kind, wholesomely Canadian gesture — but not if you are being pulled over for impaired driving.
This seems to be what happened in Sarnia, Ontario, earlier this year according to a court case heard this month.
The Brantford Expositor reports that a 44-year-old man was suspected of driving impaired after a white Ford Escape was seen swerving “all over” the road and ran a red light around noon on Feb. 27. Sarnia police caught up with the driver and asked for his licence.
Instead, the driver, identified as Eric Coleman, handed a Sarnia police officer a Tim’s card.
“Mr. Coleman attempted to provide the officer with a Tim Hortons coffee (card) as a form of identification,” assistant Crown attorney Sarah Carmody said in a Sarnia courtroom.
Unfortunately that is where the comedy in the situation ends. It turns out Coleman was slumped towards the driver’s-side door with his entire left arm out the window.
His defense lawyer said Coleman has an opioid-use disorder and had been prescribed Suboxone. Coleman told the court he has since stopped taking drugs.
The court found Coleman was a danger to others on the road and he was fined $1,500 and given a one-year driving ban.
This isn’t the first time an impaired driver has been confused and presented the wrong identification. A dashcam captured a woman repeatedly trying to present her iPhone, and specifically the Apple Music and Google Map apps within it, as her driver’s licence this summer.
If you can’t tell a gift card or an app from your actual driver’s license, it’s time to pull over and grab an Uber.