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OK to ask for ID but searches without cause a problem: Hicks

Pride Toronto’s decision to allow festival-goers to openly carry alcohol beyond patios and beer gardens if they buy a special wristband and agree to the possibility of a random check of their bag and ID is eyebrow-raising, Toronto criminal lawyer Christopher Hicks tells Vice News.

“They can ask for ID but I think any other intrusions like searches are very questionable,” he says. 

Hicks, a partner with Hicks Adams LLP, says Ontario’s liquor licensing policies don’t require people to be searched. 

“I think any search without cause is a problem."

Hicks is one of a number of people to express concern since Pride Toronto unveiled “Drink and Carry,” a new pilot program that will give event-goers the option to carry their drink almost anywhere on festival grounds with the purchase of a $25 wristband, says the article. 

A number of members of Toronto’s LGBTQ community “worry that the terms and conditions associated with this new program will do more harm to the community,” the news outlet says.

“According to the terms and conditions of the program, those who purchase a wristband will not only be subject to an ID check at the entrance of the event, participants must also present their ID whenever requested by a member of security or crew," says the article.

"Security guards are also given the power to search any person or property on the event site at any time. The terms and conditions go on to say that by purchasing a wristband, participants waive their right to a trial by jury in respect of any dispute in connection with the program," it says.

"While the policy adopts similar language to wristband policies at other festivals in the city, critics see it as a problematic encroachment on what should be open space, especially given the community’s hostile experience with how it has been policed,” Vice News says.

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