Accused asks for delay in ‘booze freezies’ trial
Scheduled for March 6
A woman accused of selling “booze” freezies at Wreck Beach has had her date in B.C. Provincial Court postponed until March 6.
Alana Thomson, 31, of Vancouver, faces 14 charges, including unlawfully selling, advertising and soliciting orders for “frozen alcoholic beverages.”
Meanwhile, lawyers say similar cases at the clothing-optional beach are on the rise.
Jason Tarnow, a Vancouver criminal lawyer, said he has noted a number of similar cases coming to court in the past six months, after a crackdown at Wreck Beach last summer.
“I recently advised a fellow who was charged with a similar offence to this young woman,” Tarnow said in a phone interview Thursday. “I think the police are getting creative with the ways they are going undercover at the beach.”
Thomson was scheduled to appear in court in Vancouver on Thursday morning, but a lawyer appeared on her behalf and asked to reschedule her arraignment. Outside court, a criminal lawyer not connected to the case said police seem to be getting more serious about illegal activity at Wreck Beach.
“As soon as (police) see you crack a beer, they can search your cooler,” the lawyer told The Province.
Thomson faces charges including one count of manufacturing freezies and two counts of possession of drugs, marijuana and ecstasy, for the purposes of trafficking.
According to a warrant connected to Thomson’s case, RCMP Const. Roger Mah, “in plain clothes,” observed Thomson at Wreck Beach on three consecutive days, and saw her walking and calling out “lime margarita, strawberry daiquiri, booze freezies, booze freezies,” and stopping to sell two for $15.
The warrant said Mah overheard her tell customers she was selling a “two-shot cocktail” and that they were “strong.” Police said that when Thomson was arrested, they seized her cooler with 50 variously- coloured freezies and $350 in cash.
Lab tests of four freezies showed each had a different alcohol content, of 5.8, 8.5, 11.2 and 16.4 per cent.
The warrant said Metro Vancouver park rangers had since 2011 observed Thomson allegedly selling freezies and issued her “numerous tickets,” including written warnings, notice of bylaw violations and municipal ticket informations, one as early as Aug. 12, 2011.