On the evening of March 31st, Elizabeth P. Filipovits was left homeless in Hope, after leaving the Hope Hotel where she had two glasses of Draft, after which, she went to drive to 5th Avenue across from McDonald’s to park her motorhome for the night.
“As I was parked and sitting in my front seat, a police officer pulled up behind me, came to my motorhome and asked for my driver’s license. He told me that my tail lights were not working. I gave him my license, then he said to me — how much have you had to drink?” Filipovits told The Hope Standard.
She responded that she had had two glasses of draft and got out of her motorhome, which also serves as her primary residence and walked over to the police car as a female officer pulled up to the scene.
“Cst. Abdullahi Hersi went to take a breathalyzer kit out of the police car — he played with two of them and could not get them to work. Then he had a third one and he had a hard time with it — I blew into it and it said that I failed,” according to Filipovits.
Filipovits who calls Vancouver Island home, stated she was handcuffed and put into the cruiser for 10 to 15 minutes, before Cst. Hersi proceeded to take her out of the back seat and put a new end into the same device, while making her reattempt the breathalyzer examination.
“He also had a hard time with setting it and making it work. It also was a fail. I believe my alcohol content was no where near 0.08 per cent. I believe the device he used was not working properly,” said Filipovits.
Filipovits was the victim of a rape and torture incident last year in Nanaimo B.C., which resulted in monetary reparations from her local victims unit that allowed her to purchase a motorhome as a new residence.
It was also the same motorhome she was driving when she was pulled over for missing tail lights.
“Cst. Hersi was rude, arrogant and ignorant — he towed my home and it was in a spot that was okay to park for the night. I explained that it was my home and everything in it was all I owned,” she said. “I am requesting a review of this decision. Towing my motorhome has made me homeless.”
Filipovits was advised that her vehicle would be impounded for 30 days and her license would be suspended for up to 90 days.
An occurrence report issued by the Upper Fraser Valley RCMP stated that a second Approved Screening Device (ASD) test was issued after Cst. Hersi observed that Filipovits had no previous history of impaired driving.
As such, Filipovits was informed of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition program and the right to a second ASD test, which she failed, according to the report.
A compassionate release was not issued due to the status of Filipovits unique living situation and then her home/vehicle was towed by Jamie Davis Towing, leaving her stranded to sleep on the street for two nights before taking up shelter at Mount Hope Motel.
Filipovits has been selling handmade jewelry downtown in an effort to fund her remaining time in Hope, while she waits for the release of her home.
“I saw and heard everything, it looked like the officer was having issues with the first machine and then pulled out a second one from the same box — I shared the story with my boyfriend when I got home because I thought it was so unfair. The system is unfair and this is how people get stuck,” said witness Mildred O’Sullivan in a statement.