Edmonton

MP Peter Goldring testifies at trial

Edmonton MP Peter Goldring testified that he had a beer and one, possibly two glasses of wine, in the hours before he was stopped by Edmonton police in December 2011.
Peter Goldring walks into the Edmonton courthouse for the second day of his trial on Friday. (CBC)

Edmonton East MP Peter Goldring testified on Friday that he had a beer and one, possibly two glasses of wine, in the hours before he was stopped by Edmonton police in December 2011.

Goldring told his trial for failing to provide a breath sample that he consumed the wine at a political fundraiser and then one beer at a sports bar that night.

Earlier in the day, the court heard that Goldring challenged officers when they demanded he take a breathalyzer test that night.

The court heard testimony from Sgt. Conrad Moschansky, who was called to the scene by Const. Trevor Shelrud, the officer who stopped Goldring early on Dec. 4, 2011.

When Moschansky arrived at the scene, he testified that Goldring asked him what gave him the right to request a breathalyzer test.

"How can you just stop me for no reason?" Moschansky said he was asked by Goldring.

The sergeant said that Goldring asked a number of other questions including how many drinks it would take "to blow over" the legal limit.

When Moschansky explained that depended on a person's height and weight, he said that Goldring replied, "If I blow, it's over anyway."  

When Moschansky asked if he had consumed any alcohol at the political fundraiser, he said Goldring replied, "Of course I did. Who doesn't?"

While Shelrud testified that Goldring's demeanor was "snarky" and "dismissive," Moschansky said he found the MP's questions to be blunt.

Goldring counters police testimony

Goldring paints a very different picture of that night. He denies being belligerent with officers, instead testifying that he was simply asking why he was pulled over.

He also said he did not mean to lock his door after being pulled over, but that his car is designed to lock automatically when the engine starts.

"There’s a number of issue here, but I’m very pleased to finally be able to have my say," Goldring told reporters outside the courthouse.

"There were a lot of statements made that weren't particularly complementary to me, but most of those statements, or most all of those statements, have been discounted throughout the course of this."

He says the testimony has been "one-sided" so far. Goldring also flatly denied any implication that he tried to use his status as a MP to get out of taking a breathalyzer.

"That’s absolutely false. I would never do that."

Goldring said he only mentioned his job when asked by police.

Defence arguing Goldring's rights violated

Dino Bottos, Goldring's lawyer, plans to argue that his client's charter rights were violated during the stop.

He argues that police should not have done further alcohol testing after Goldring was arrested and should have also waited for his lawyer to arrive.

Botto also says police failed to tell the MP that a failed roadside breathalyzer is not grounds for arrest and would instead mean further testing.

"Because of that failure and because of these delays, we are claiming that several of his rights to counsel and right against unreasonable search and seizure have been violated," he said.

Goldring and Botto will be back in court in April to argue the charter issue.

 

With files from the CBC's Gareth Hampshire and the Canadian Press

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