South Peace News
A local RCMP corporal recently found not guilty of an impaired driving charge after a trial is facing the same charge.
Anita Lee Doktor was charged after in incident at McLennan on June 1, reports RCMP’s K Division media relations Fraser Logan.
“[Police] were dispatched to a convenience store where a complainant observed a female individual drive into the parking lot, exit the vehicle and enter the store,” says Logan. “The complainant suspected the individual was impaired by alcohol but was unsuccessful in convincing her to turnover her vehicle keys.”
As a result, High Prairie RCMP were called to assist.
“Upon arrival, the attending officers recognized the suspected impaired driver as being Cpl. Anita Doktor who was subsequently investigated and charged for impaired driving.”
Doktor was charged with a similar offence on Dec. 5, 2016 in High Prairie and found not guilty on May 28 due to lack of evidence. Her trial was on Feb. 21.
Doktor is currently suspended with pay and her duty status will be subject to ongoing reviews.
“Maintaining the public trust is one of the key components of policing,” says Chief Supt. Rhonda Blackmore, District Commander for the RCMP’s Western Alberta District.
“Any conduct that could harm the public’s trust and confidence in their police is taken very seriously.”
Officer acquitted for lack of evidence
[June 13, 2018 South Peace News]
South Peace News
An officer with High Prairie RCMP was acquitted of an impaired driving charge when the judge determined that not enough evidence was given during the trial Feb. 21.
Anita Lee Doktor was found not guilty when Judge Jasmine K. Sihra presented the decision in High Prairie provincial court May 28.
Details of the decision and trial were presented in a report available on the website of the Canada Legal Information Institute.
“Having considered all of the evidence, the court finds that the Crown has not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was operating a motor vehicle while her ability to do so was impaired by alcohol,” states the report.
“As such, the court finds her not guilty and the charge is dismissed of that offence.”
Doktor was a corporal with the High Prairie RCMP when she was charged with impaired operation on Dec. 5, 2016.
She was also a qualified breath technician at the detachment when she was called at her home to assist officers with a possible impaired driver [Mr. G.] about 8:40 p.m.
“The court accepts that the accused attended at the detachment after she had consumed alcohol,” Judge Sihra says.
“However, the evidence on the whole is insufficient to convince the court beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol.
“The video evidence either refutes the officers’ testimony of physical issues observed on the accused’s part or else does not capture it.
“Also, the evidence on comprehension issues does not pass muster.
“Lastly, even if the accused had been driving, there is no evidence of unusual driving reflected in her parking of her vehicle.
“As to the latter point, there is no need for the court to make a determination on whether the accused was operating a motor vehicle on the date in question.
“On all the evidence, however, the court would have been satisfied that a GMC pick-up truck is a motor vehicle, and further, that the test for circumstantial evidence has been met, and in fact the accused had driven and parked her vehicle at the detachment.
“To conclude otherwise would stretch credulity, however, it is a moot point.”
Doktor was not ordered to provide any breath samples.
Investigating Mr. G., Const. Laurin wanted the accused as the breath technician as she was his friend and roommate, and he wanted to share the milestone of reaching his 15th impaired driving investigation with her, for which he would be receiving an award.
After first seeing the accused at the detachment, it took Const. Laurin a couple of minutes to conclude that Doktor’s lips had wine on them.
He also observed what he described as a wine stain on her sweater.
Const. Lyons noticed the very strong odour of perfume from a distance of at least three feet.
He had not smelt perfume on the accused before.
Const. Lyons did not smell alcohol as he believes that it was masked by the perfume.
He admitted that he could not say for sure.
The factors that drew Const. Lyons to the conclusion that Doktor was intoxicated were the experience that Const. Lyons has dealing with intoxicated people, the accused’s demeanor, her out-of-character and unprofessional interactions with Mr. G. and her manner of walking.
Const. Laurin’s belief that the accused was intoxicated was based upon her slurred speech and her difficulty with balance when walking.
At one point, he believed that she walked into the doorframe of the breath room. She was unsure of her footing, unsteady on her feet, swaying at some points.
Const. Laurin would not have hesitated to arrest Doktor for impaired operation if there had been reasonable grounds to believe that she had driven.
Const. Laurin spoke to other officers at the detachment too after breath testing of Mr. G.
No one at the detachment had seen Doktor driving.
The full report is available online at can.lii.org.