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May 2019

VFH driver keeps license despite impaired driving conviction

by John Q. Duffy

An impaired driving conn impaired driving conviction was not enough to stop a Toronto cab driver from keeping his commercial license.

A full hearing was held into the renewal of the Vehicle-For-Hire Driver’s License held by Tsehaye Ghebreab Teklehaimanot on April 11, 2019 before the Toronto Licensing Tribunal panel of Daphne Simon, Melana Laverty and Victoria Romero.

The driver was not represented by counsel and some concern was expressed about his ability to understand English, though he said he did not need an interpreter and did not ask for one. Nonetheless the hearing proceeded.

The City lawyer this hearing day, Amy Murakami, told the panel Municipal Licensing and Standards would “Leave the appropriate remedy up to the tribunal. We don’t have a position right now.”

An Impaired Driving conviction was registered against Teklehaimanot after a trial on March 8, 2018 arising from an October 29, 2016 incident.

The licensee rear-ended a 2001 Mercedes Benz causing about $2,500 total damage for both vehicles. There were no injuries.

An investigating police constable suspected Teklehaimanot had been drinking by the way he acted and smelled. Later testing indicated a blood alcohol content of 134mg/100 ml of blood, and a later test showed 125 mg Alcohol in 100 ml of blood. The legal limit is .8 Ml/100 ml of blood. His Provincial drivers license was suspended until September of 2018.

“The City obviously has grave concerns,” Murakami told the panel.

In mitigation, she noted this driver has an otherwise spotless record. City staff confirmed he has been driving taxi since 2011.

She recommended a three-year probationary period with the other usual conditions about paying all fees and providing appropriate documentation being complete and that he could be brought back before the TLT if he gets into trouble again.

Teklehaimanot argued that three years probation was too long for an isolated incident two years before.

He said he does not drink alcohol regularly.

After retiring to deliberate, the panel returned and announced the probationary period would last two years starting this day.

 

2019 Taxi News

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