Tim Horton drive-thru text nets $287 fine
A.J. Daoust was issued distracted driving ticket during his morning coffee run
A Beaumont man says he never expected a coffee run at Tim Hortons would land him in hot water with police.
A.J. Daoust was texting in the drive-thru, last Thursday morning, when he was issued a $287 ticket for distracted driving.
Daoust had just answered a text on his phone when he got a tap on the window.
"All of a sudden someone walked up next to me," said Daoust during a Tuesday morning interview with Edmonton AM radio show host Mark Connolly.
"I didn't really know what was going on. I thought maybe it was somebody getting donations for something, but it turns out it was a policeman."
The officer let Daoust get his fresh cup of coffee before pulling him over in the parking lot and writing him up.
Dumbfounded, Daoust said he struggled to keep his cool.
"I asked him, 'In a drive-thru, is this even possible?' " said Daoust, who believes the officer was also waiting in the drive-thru line, inside an undercover police car.
"Once he gave me the ticket, I was absolutely livid. He got an earful from me."
Provincial laws prohibit drivers from using hand-held cell phones, texting or emailing while behind the wheel. It applies to any road, highway or thoroughfare, whether publicly or privately owned.
It's up to the officer's discretion when a distracted driving-fine is justified, but Daoust feels police were "heavy-handed."
"It's a slippery slope. I honestly don't know what the solution is. It's a widespread problem, distracted driving. But I think this is a bit on the ridiculous side."
"I know ignorance (of the law) is not an excuse, but it was just kind of weird."
The ticket is due on Jan 6.
Daoust, a carpenter by trade, plans on attending his court date, but is not optimistic about his chances of getting the fine reduced.
"I was on my phone. I'm not going to lie. But I don't know what my next step should be ... and yesterday I got laid off, just to add insult to injury."