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

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