Q&A - Disputing Violation Ticket for My Suicidal Father
My 83-year old father got a violation ticket and I am considering whether I should (or can) dispute it on his behalf. It is a somewhat unique case. My father had shown signs of mental illness and last month I just managed to get a geriatric specialist to send in a medical report that requires him to take a driving assessment. However, shortly after seeing the specialist, my father became suicidal and left home driving his car without taking his wallet.
He was hysterical and certainly looked not well. He was stopped by a Vancouver police officer in downtown Vancouver because he was driving on the wrong side of the road. When the officer asked where he was going, he said he was on his way to kill himself. But all the officer did was write him a violation ticket for failing to keep right (section 150(1)) and failing to produce driver's license (section 33(1)).
My father was able to show the officer an expired interim driver's license that was kept in the glove compartment so the personal information on the ticket was properly filled out. After writing the ticket, the officer just let my dad continue on his way!
My dad told me the details after his suicide attempt failed and he was hospitalized. I believe his story because it matches with the timeline of when he left home, the information written on the traffic ticket that the hospital gave me, and how he had frankly told two RCMP officers about his suicide plan when he was stopped in Squamish later that afternoon. The RCMP officers sent him to hospital and impounded his vehicle.
I want to dispute the ticket not because I have any issue with the charges, but rather because of his mental state and his ability to pay the fine. He is on income assistance and also have problem with his finances because of his cognitive issues. I am also appalled that the Vancouver police officer just let a distressed senior with no ID continue driving after having caught him driving on the wrong side of the road!
My questions are:
1. Should the Vancouver police officer have given him the ticket in the first place? Should he have done what the Squamish RCMP did instead?
2. Can I "dispute" the ticket and ask for a reduction of fines based on compassionate ground?
3. Can I do this on my dad's behalf now that he is certified and may not be discharged any time soon (or even never)?
4. Even if I do not dispute the ticket, can I file a complaint about the action of the Vancouver police officer? It is a miracle that no innocent person has been hurt and that my dad's suicide attempt failed, this could easily have been a deadly incident.