Ignorance of the law no defence in Penticton disqualified driving case - InfoNews

Current Conditions

5.3°C

Ignorance of the law no defence in Penticton disqualified driving case

Image Credit: Shutterstock
September 14, 2018 - 3:00 PM

PENTICTON - A disqualified driver who challenged whether or not a road running through the Penticton Indian Band is public has lost his argument in British Columbia provincial court.

Darren Allen Nelson was caught by police May 25, 2017, driving a motorcycle on Marron Valley Road near Penticton. He was a disqualified driver at the time.

Nelson contended that his use of Marron Valley Road through the reserve as a disqualified driver was not an infraction of the criminal code because the road was on the private property of a reserve member, according to a judgement from Justice Gregory Koturbash on Aug. 29. Nelson also contended if he was wrong about his interpretation, his error was that of fact, not of law.

The Crown argued public use of Marron Valley Road by members of the public results in the road falling within the definition of a public place for the purpose of  Nelson’s driving prohibition, and since he was aware of the public use of the road, his mistake is one of legal interpretation, not of fact.

Koturbash pointed out in his judgement that evidence clearly established reserve and non-reserve residents used the Marron Valley Road with regularity. The road is maintained by Argo Road Maintenance and has the usual signage of a public road, in addition to providing a connection with Green Mountain Road and Highway 3A, making it a public place.

“Even if only residents living on the reserve used the road, I still would have reached the same conclusion. The term public can and does include a limited number of people like reserve residents,” Koturbash said.

The judge also determined Nelson’s mistake to be one of legal interpretation, not of fact.

“Generally, mistake or ignorance of the law is not a defence,” he wrote in his judgement, finding Nelson guilty of driving while disqualified.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2018
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular vernon News
  • Comments
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile