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Old 09-23-2015, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,165 posts, read 16,163,004 times
Reputation: 4894

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It's because he didn't bring any Tim Horton's with him.
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Old 09-23-2015, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
975 posts, read 808,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
It's because he didn't bring any Tim Horton's with him.
Yeah, maybe caffeine withdrawal caused the fender bender!

Seriously, though, the Atlanta P.D.'s handling of this was ridiculously heavy-handed.

Maybe the Atlanta P.D. will apologize and refund the bond that he shouldn't have had to pay. Uh, right...
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:04 AM
 
27,760 posts, read 24,784,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0nyxStation View Post
What are you talking about?
What's so hard to understand about my response to your statement? It was as straightforward as you can get.
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:54 PM
 
6 posts, read 3,641 times
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Under Georgia law "Failure to Maintain Lane" is a misdemeanor criminal offense which hypothetically carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000. All traffic offenses in Ga (not municipal parking violations) are either a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense. While certain offenses like no seatbelt have a lower maximum punishment, they are still considered criminal violations and are prosecuted as such. This may seem silly, but it allows defendants important rights such as the ability to demand a jury trial, requires the evidence be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and many other rights reserved for criminal matters.

Currently, the common practice in Georgia is for the officer who charges someone with a traffic related offense is to write a citation and release the person with their promise to appear later in court. This was not always the case, but has been the norm for about 40 or so years. If the person does not show up for court, the clerk of court forwards this information to the Georgia Department of Driver Services who then suspends the license of the person to drive in the State of Georgia. An arrest warrant may also be issued for the person who did not show up for court.

The problem arises when a person is not licensed in Georgia. Suspending their right to drive in Georgia may not be a real consequence for someone who does not drive often in Georgia. It is very uncommon for a warrant for "failure to appear" on a misdemeanor traffic offense to be served on someone far away from the original jurisdiction due to the costs involved (travel, etc). It is even more uncommon if this person is in another state, as the costs rise and the potential for having a costly extradition hearing occurs. Therefore, really the only tool available to the state to encourage someone to come to court on a traffic offense is that of requiring a bond (like in other criminal matters).

Now most states recognized the need to encourage persons to come to court without the need of requiring a bond would be beneficial to all parties. After all, it is common for people from one state to drive in another state, and sometimes be charged with a traffic offense. Most of the states (around 41 I think) entered into an agreement whereby if one of the states in the agreement suspended someone's ability to drive in a state, the issuing state of the drivers license would also suspend that driver's license in the state of issue. This resolved the issue for most states where there was no practical mechanism of dealing with a cited driver who did not show up for court.

Georgia is a member of this compact with other states. Some states like California and Michigan are not members of the agreement and common practice to require charged drivers from these states to post a bond guaranteeing their return to court. Now not all officers strictly follow this procedure every time, but it is considered the legally correct method.

Now a driver from another nation is even more complex as there is no real agreement among countries about these types of offenses and extradition from a foreign country will not happen for a violation like "failure to maintain lane". So the driver is forced to post a bond to guarantee their appearance in court.

Other locales in Georgia probably would not have handcuffed the driver from Canada, but would have had them come to the office to put up the bail money. The officer probably would have driven the driver in the patrol car unhandcuffed, or had them follow him to the station. I doubt that the Atlanta PD has policies that allow either of these actions (transporting charged offenders without handcuffs or escorting them in another car to the station). Big police departments oftentimes strictly limit the discretion of officers to handle offenses in an atypical manner (usually for good reason) which sometimes results in absurd seeming outcomes (not unlike zero-tolerance rules in schools). It is likely that the APD officer had no real solution to this problem aside from handcuffing and arrest if he wanted to comply with the policies of the APD and the laws of Georgia.
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Old 09-23-2015, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Duluth, GA
1,136 posts, read 880,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBurgh View Post
Normally if you have a strange desire to drive over 1800 miles one-way, you anticipate that something bad might happen.
I may be missing something in the original article, but I'm not seeing where its been established that this tourist drove all the way down from Saskatchewan. Its not impossible, especially if catching a Braves game was part of a longer road trip to Florida, maybe.
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Old 09-23-2015, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,062,144 times
Reputation: 6721
If you go back and read the original news story, at the beginning of this thread, the man and his young cousin, did drive to Atlanta, from their home in Saskatchewan.....specifically to see a couple of games that featured The Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays. No mention of any intention to go to Florida.

In Canada, we consider the Blue Jays to be "Canada's Team " as there is only one Canadian based team in all of MLB. Therefore, we have Blue Jays fans from all over Canada, coast to coast to coast ( Canada has three ocean coasts, Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic . ) At Blue Jays home games, in Toronto, it is not at all unusual to see signs in the stands from all 10 Provinces, held by visitors that flew or drove to get there.

I think that we can all agree that this event was badly handled, and the publicity that this has drawn is not good for the image of the city of Atlanta.

Jim B.
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Old 09-23-2015, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,062,144 times
Reputation: 6721
Bogart Double Dawg.

Thanks for your explanation about the reasoning behind the practise in Georgia, of arresting offenders for what most people would consider a "minor traffic offence ". The national agreement ( well almost ...41 out of 50 States ) is a good idea. It meets the need to deal with offenders without too much hardship .

For those that don't know, a number of the Canadian Provinces have reciprocal driver offence agreements with US states that are abutting the Province. For example, here in Ontario, we have agreements with New York, and Michigan. Ontario drivers that are convicted in any of those States, for a driving offence, can have points added to their Ontario driver record, and if convicted and suspended by one of those States, their Ontario license is ALSO suspended by the Ontario Ministry of Transport. You can't hide behind the border......

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have similar agreements with Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. So does Quebec. Manitoba , Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia have agreements with Minnesota , North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming , Idaho and Washington.

It is a two way street........Americans, from those States that have reciprocal agreements with Canadian Provinces, can have their State driving license suspended, and or have points added to their record, upon being convicted in a Canadian Province.

Here is a link to the Ontario Government website about what happens if a driver from Ontario is convicted in a US State that is a part of the agreement.

link. http://www.ontario.ca/faq/what-happe...demerit-points

Jim B.
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Old 09-23-2015, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
975 posts, read 808,291 times
Reputation: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogart Double Dawg View Post
...

Other locales in Georgia probably would not have handcuffed the driver from Canada, but would have had them come to the office to put up the bail money. The officer probably would have driven the driver in the patrol car unhandcuffed, or had them follow him to the station. I doubt that the Atlanta PD has policies that allow either of these actions (transporting charged offenders without handcuffs or escorting them in another car to the station). Big police departments oftentimes strictly limit the discretion of officers to handle offenses in an atypical manner (usually for good reason) which sometimes results in absurd seeming outcomes (not unlike zero-tolerance rules in schools). It is likely that the APD officer had no real solution to this problem aside from handcuffing and arrest if he wanted to comply with the policies of the APD and the laws of Georgia.
According to the police department's statement, a person may be detained and required to post bond if the officer has "reason to believe" that the offender will not appear for his court date. So, it sounds like the police officer was using his discretion in this case. He probably isn't the most reasonable officer in the land.

In any case, the APD's explanation doesn't make sense to me because, if I understand correctly, no court date would be necessary if the violator simply paid the ticket, which he did in this case.

Last edited by stillinthesouth; 09-23-2015 at 02:46 PM..
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Old 09-23-2015, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Eastern Shore of Maryland
5,941 posts, read 2,496,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillinthesouth View Post

In any case, the APD's explanation doesn't make sense to me because, if I understand correctly, no court date would be necessary if the violator simply paid the ticket, which he did in this case.
Of course it makes sense. Police officers can not quote you a fine amount, take your money, give you a receipt and turn you loose. Due process. You get arrested, you go in and pay your fine, when facilities are available, and continue on the way. Nothing to do with being "reasonable" or not, or making sense. Its the only way available. Also, a Cop isn't going to know if some place in Canada has an agreement with which state, so it makes no difference. Nothing wrong with how it was handled.

Also I am sure the Cops is just like everyone else, and if he is going to error, its going to be covering his butt.
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
975 posts, read 808,291 times
Reputation: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris347 View Post
Of course it makes sense. Police officers can not quote you a fine amount, take your money, give you a receipt and turn you loose. Due process. You get arrested, you go in and pay your fine, when facilities are available, and continue on the way. Nothing to do with being "reasonable" or not, or making sense. Its the only way available. Also, a Cop isn't going to know if some place in Canada has an agreement with which state, so it makes no difference. Nothing wrong with how it was handled.

Also I am sure the Cops is just like everyone else, and if he is going to error, its going to be covering his butt.
Maybe he was just following orders, but the cop comes across as a jerk - handcuffing the driver, leaving the passenger at the side of the road to bring the "offender" to the police station for the most minor of violations. Surely the officer could have handled things better.
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