Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

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gotchya
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Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby gotchya » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:28 pm

On the witness stand at his impaired driving trial, former Maple Leafs captain Rick Vaive appeared candid, consistent and straightforward to the judge, even while divulging “humiliating and embarrassing” details about his personal life.

Like the fact he’s had problems controlling his bladder since he was 6. Or the fact that the 52-year-old has sleep apnea and requires a breathing apparatus to get a full night’s rest.

In reading her verdict, Justice Anne-Marie Hourigan noted that Vaive’s version of events never wavered and that two other “credible” defence witnesses corroborated his story. Alternatively, Hourigan found problems with the testimony of York Region Police Const. Carl Young, who stopped Vaive that night three years ago in Vaughan, as the former NHL star headed home after two days of golf in Gravenhurst.

Young told the court Vaive reeked of alcohol, had a wet stain at his crotch, had bloodshot eyes, was slow to react and needed help walking away from his car. But to Hourigan, video footage of Vaive at the police station shortly after showed none of this behaviour.

A breathalyzer test that showed Vaive had twice the legal limit in his system was taken outside the two-hour time frame. Instead of a slam dunk, that evidence could only be considered as one piece of a much larger puzzle.

All considered, Hourigan said she believed Vaive when he said he was exhausted, not drunk, the night of July 14, 2009. So despite the fact a breathalyzer test — administered outside the required two-hour time frame — showed Vaive had twice the legal limit in his system that night, Hourigan acquitted him of impaired driving charges in Newmarket court Thursday afternoon.

After the verdict, Vaive rose from his seat, smiled, then gave his wife a lengthy hug outside the courtroom. She then kissed defence lawyer Calvin Barry on the cheek. Both left with only “no comment.”

“Thank God we had the video because that saves the day,” Barry said outside. “Rick’s very happy. It takes a lot of pressure off his shoulders. He was very, very upset throughout this whole ordeal.”

Since retiring, Vaive, perhaps best known as the first Maple Leaf to score 50 goals in a single season, has been heavily involved in charity work, including with the Leafs’ community foundation and the United Way.

On the night of his arrest, Vaive was returning from a weekend charity golf event in Gravenhurst. Accompanying him that weekend was his former NHL teammate and longtime friend Bill Derlago. Court heard that Vaive had drunk about seven beers and a glass of wine on Saturday, between a round of golf, dinner and a poker game that extended into early Sunday morning.

Vaive had trouble sleeping that night because he didn’t have his sleep apnea machine. At noon on Sunday he had a can of beer, another four cans of Coors Light during Sunday’s round of golf, and then another back at the clubhouse.

Derlago, who was with Vaive for most of the weekend, gave similar evidence and told the court that when it was time to head home, he felt Vaive was fit to drive.

But after Vaive dropped off Derlago at his car, which was parked at Pine Valley Dr. and Highway 7, a concerned citizen who thought Vaive was stumbling, driving erratically and nearly hit a building after mounting the curb at a plaza, called 911.

Const. Young pulled Vaive over at the Highway 407 ramp in Vaughan. At first, Vaive told the officer he had only had one can of beer that day. Later he changed his story to six.

In her verdict, Hourigan said she accepted Vaive’s explanation for why he initially lied to police about the amount of beer he had been drinking. Vaive later testified he was “nervous and tired and the answer just came out.” For Hourigan, it was a reasonable reaction that didn’t undermine his credibility.

While weighing the evidence, Hourigan noted the concerned citizen only witnessed Vaive for about 30 seconds. Vaive said that if he was moving slowly it was because of a sore hip, exacerbated by two days of golf. He also occasionally hits the curb with his large truck, a Ford F-150. And as for the wet spot at his crotch, he said, it’s a problem he has dealt with his whole life.

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/artic ... ed-driving
Methinks this judge was enamored with a hockey player and failed to consider the facts, he lied because he was nervous? No he lied because he didn't want to be convicted, and when it was discovered he claims he's nervous and you find him credible. WTF is this justice smoking...? :banghead:

I'm sure traffic members have similar stories. Why is it that the most objective charge in the criminal code (i.e. over 80) is the hardest to secure a conviction on? Could it be that many lawyers, judges, and elites get charged with it and get good lawyers.
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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby 366 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:28 am

I'll give you a little tip, it's never the accused on trial, but rather your investigation. That about sums it up.

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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby GPZ » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:03 am

Someone who can afford a hot-shot lawyer has a good shot skating on the dual 253. Cost him 20 grand or so. But from what I read in the article, this fails the "reasonable person test". He was drinking all day, a bystander called 911 because he was pissed, he had wet himself and stank of booze, then lied to the police, but it's OK because why again?

No mention of why the tests were outside 2 hours, or if there might be an appeal. Seems like a stronger case than the judge gave credit for.

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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby Punisher-One » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:23 am

Absolutely asinine decision.

The judiciary in this country is absolutely pathetic.

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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby gotchya » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:27 am

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/04/12/ri ... walks-free

NEWMARKET - What a lovely message the courts have just sent.

You can get behind the wheel after drinking six beers, piss your pants, lie to police, blow twice the legal limit and still walk away from drunk driving charges because of the skillful stick handling of your expensive lawyer.

That was the lucky outcome for former Leafs captain Rick Vaive, who emerged from Newmarket court an innocent man Thursday after Justice Anne-Marie Hourigan found there was a reasonable doubt as to whether he was really driving drunk back on July 14, 2009.

The judge found the 52-year-old hockey legend “candid and straightforward” when he testified that rather than inebriated, he was simply tired after spending most of the previous night playing cards and stiff and in pain after several rounds of golf and driving for two hours aggravated his old NHL wounds.

Hourigan believed his version of the story, she said, because she found Vaive a credible witness: he has no criminal record, played an elite level of hockey and gives back to the community with charity golf tournaments.

So, of course, he was telling the truth.

“You are free to go, Mr. Vaive,” Hourigan said after reading her 90-minute decision.

Almost three years after the charges were first laid, the dapper, silver-haired Vaive shook hands with his lawyer, Calvin Barry, hugged his tearful wife and left behind the media attention that has dogged him with no comment.

This is not the way he wants to be remembered.

The former 50-goal scorer was pulled over on his way home to Oakville after spending two days in Gravenhurst with his hockey buddies at, yes, a charity golf tournament. He had just dropped them off at a plaza near Highway 7 and Pine Valley Rd. when a 911 caller reported seeing him staggering in the parking lot and then driving over a curb as he pulled away in his Ford F-150 truck.

Stopped about 8 p.m. by York Regional Police, Vaive had a wet stain on his crotch, seemed slow in getting his papers, smelled strongly of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot. But the judge accepted all of the former hockey player’s explanations.

The bloodshot eyes? He was just exhausted after an all-night card game.

The odor of alcohol? Well, he’d had a half dozen Coors Lites, but he’d paced himself through the day and finished drinking long before he was stopped.

Slow to stop and get his insurance? He was really nervous.

The pee stain? He has a long-time bladder problem.

And what of those sky high breathalyzer readings? At 10:39 p.m., Vaive’s blood alcohol level was 180 mg/100 ml and 172mg/100 ml at 11:03 p.m. - both more than twice the legal limit. But due to a legal technicality - the breathalyzer wasn’t administered within two hours - the judge isn’t allowed to accept those results at face value and must consider “evidence to the contrary”, such as the credible testimony of Vaive and his former linemate Bill Derlago that he wasn’t impaired.

The judge was especially convinced by the video taken during his booking at the police station. “The videotape speaks for itself,” noted Hourigan. “At no time was he observed to be stumbling or swaying or off balance.”

His lawyer said that was the key. “The big thing is the video,” Barry said outside the courthouse. “A picture is a thousand words and he wasn’t drunk. He was tired and what was on the video was contrary to what the arresting officer and the qualified breathalyzer technician had to say and thank God we had the video because that saved the day as the evidence acquitted the captain of the Maple Leafs.

That’s how Vaive earns his living, of course. The retired 14-year hockey player trades his former NHL status for public appearances, speaking engagements and stints on a few corporate boards. A drunk driving conviction would have tarnished all that.

Still, much of the damage is done: The evidence paints a far different picture than the acquittal suggests and his own admission that he consumed six beers before driving is hardly exemplary.

So imagine a different scenario that would have done wonders for his image: where the former hockey hero faces the cameras and says he shouldn’t drink and drive.

Glorious the justice system is...by the way for his lawyer they guy hasn't been the captain of the Maple Leaf for 14 years.
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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby Toonces » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:37 am

Further to that, an investigator can do everything right, and a judge can just arbitrarily believe the accused as opposed to actual evidence. It is what it is.

As an investigator, I put my best forward time and time again. I try no to get too hung up on the court outcome, although when there's victims it's hard not to sympathize.
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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby GoodWitness » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:28 pm

Regardless of the eventual outcome in court, the officer who stopped him that day may have still saved a life if he had continued to drive when he was clearly so "tired".

I can't even imagine how frustrating it must be to see an outcome like this, but it kept the public safe that day, and the legal bills were at least some sort of a penalty.

And I'm sorry, but you piss yourself after 6 beers over the course of a day?!?

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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby gotchya » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:49 pm

Hoodwinkle wrote:Yeah no kidding...a couple of months ago, I walked out of court wondering WTF did I do?!?!

Yea, I can see how, I went to court to testify as a civilian and I felt as though I was on trial. At point I had to point out that I have only been blessed with two hands and while I was driving and on the phone with 911 I could not write down the license plate...

I applaud the work of officers day in and day out that at times deal with a judiciary that fails to remain pragmatic, and in my view, failing to do so is to its own peril as it may become irrelevant.
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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby Tango5 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:53 pm

Hoodwinkle wrote:
366 wrote:I'll give you a little tip, it's never the accused on trial, but rather your investigation. That about sums it up.


Yeah no kidding...a couple of months ago, I walked out of court wondering WTF did I do?!?!


No kidding.
I don't have a vast experience in courts but was involved in few during last year.

One plrticular sticks in mind where there was a Rock Hard evidence on video.
The driving evidence, the fact that the driver was drinking liquor while actually driving, all on video.
We were waiting in court for the case to start, and boom, the Crown walked to us and informed us that the case is killed. Little technicality got in the way.
A little friggen thing, no one noticed or realized at the time of the investigation. I don't want say what it was on the public forum but you would go double WTF

Seems to me that vast majority of impaired cases get tossed-out because of little technicalities.
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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby JennyRN » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:05 pm

Yeah I was wondering that Justice was smoking - makes it look as though we have taken 5 steps back in terms of impaired driving :cuss:

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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby Whitebrown » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:44 pm

I once knew a Sgt who would do as much as possible to an impaired driver (roadside suspension, impounding the car, and fines upon fines) so he wouldn't have to arrest and charge that person; simply based on how dumb the judges can be. Not dealing with the courts is the by far one of the best perks of being a CO. I like the legal bill theory though. Those lawyers aren't cheap and takes the driver out of work (assuming they work) for a day.

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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby gotchya » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:20 pm

Whitebrown wrote:I like the legal bill theory though. Those lawyers aren't cheap and takes the driver out of work (assuming they work) for a day.

Who do you think makes the laws? Lawyers.

Judges are lawyers and by making arbitrary decisions not based on science or fact ensure more work for...lawyers. Its a beautiful system...
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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby Whitebrown » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:49 am

gotchya wrote:
Whitebrown wrote:I like the legal bill theory though. Those lawyers aren't cheap and takes the driver out of work (assuming they work) for a day.

Who do you think makes the laws? Lawyers.

Judges are lawyers and by making arbitrary decisions not based on science or fact ensure more work for...lawyers. Its a beautiful system...


You know that whole part where I said I like the legal bill theory? Well you just ruined it. Thank you very much. :rant:


;)

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Re: Rick Vaive:Twice the legal limit but not drunk.

Postby fjacky » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:50 am

gotchya wrote:
Whitebrown wrote:I like the legal bill theory though. Those lawyers aren't cheap and takes the driver out of work (assuming they work) for a day.

Who do you think makes the laws? Lawyers.

Judges are lawyers and by making arbitrary decisions not based on science or fact ensure more work for...lawyers. Its a beautiful system...


If it wasn't for lawyers, we wouldn't need lawyers. :)
!!!2008!!!


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