tim hortons card

Impaired Ontario driver hands police a Tim Hortons gift card instead of his license

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.

Lead photo by

Terry Alexander


Latest Videos



Latest Videos


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Someone documented their first week living in Toronto starting with basically nothing

Ontario snowmobile driver ignites gas station and his own pants in massive fireball

Canadian TD Bank customers can cash in on $16 million settlement soon

Alleged drunk driver pulls into Ontario police station and is immediately arrested

People are obsessing over this suspended staircase hidden inside Toronto building

The history of the Enoch Turner schoolhouse in Toronto

This Toronto ravine and park are home to a hidden TTC exit and a massive reservoir

This is what Toronto highways looked like over the last century