On June 1, 2018, RCMP Corporal Anita Doktor got extremely drunk and drove her RCMP-issue Ford Escape to a Mac convenience store in High Prairie, Alberta. While trying to exit the store, Dokor fell into one of the store displays, knocking its contents across the floor.
The store clerk immediately called the police to report a drunk driver.
When RCMP constables arrived to investigate, Corporal Doktor was angry, belligerent and generally abusive to her fellow RCMP members.
The Code of Conduct Hearing Decision states “due to the level of intoxication, the Member has no independent recollection of the events. Upon review of the Investigation Report, the Member does not contest any allegation, nor particular.”
On June 7, 2018, Corporal Anita Doktor was charged with unlawfully assaulting Cst. Vincent Fontaine contrary to section 270(1)(a) of the Criminal Code, and unlawfully and wilfully obstructing Cst. Vincent Fontaine contrary to section 129(a) of the Criminal Code.
In exchange for pleading guilty to the assault charge, Corporal Doktor received a conditional discharge and probation. The obstruction charge was withdrawn.
Corporal Anita Doktor was also charged with “unlawfully operating a motor vehicle while your ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol or a drug, contrary to section 253(1)(a) of the Criminal Code and having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration thereof in your blood exceeded 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, you did unlawfully operate a motor vehicle, contrary to section 253(1)(b) of the Criminal Code.”
In exchange for pleading guilty to driving over .08, Corporal Doktor recieved a conditional discharge and probation. The impaired operation of a motor vehicle charge was withdrawn by the Crown.
This was Corporal Doktor’s second conviction for impaired driving, so the RCMP’s Conduct Authority sought her forced resignation from the force.
Corporal Doktor’s believes she deserves another chance to continue her career with the RCMP because “she has taken monumental steps towards her rehabilitation.” She is willing to accept any conduct measures short of dismissal.
Since the incident on June 7, 2018, Anita Doktor has worked hard to turn her life around. She went into rehab and has been sober ever since. She attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every week. She founded an A.A. group for first responders.
In short, she’s done everything we could reasonably expect an alcoholic to do after they hit bottom.
Her demotion, loss of pay and other consequences aren’t easy to deal with, I’m sure, but if this report is to be believed, Anita Doktor is a much-needed success story for the RCMP.
I wish Ms. Doktor every success in her sobriety and her life.
Corporal Anita Doktor Hits Bottom
Corporal Doktor is what many would call an alcoholic, and alcoholics typically don’t turn their lives around until they hit rock bottom.
According to the report submitted by Marc Roy, Corporal Doktor’s psychologist, her arrest and subsequent criminal charges for driving while intoxicated and assaulting a police officer appear to be her bottom.
 Corporal Doktor tendered two expert evidence reports, absent any objection on the part of the Conduct Authority. I accepted that the education and experience of both experts qualified them to provide expert opinion evidence in relation to the diagnosis and treatment of Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Alcohol Use Disorder and anxiety.
 The first report was authored by Marc Roy, Registered Psychologist, on July 29, 2020. Mr. Roy indicated in his report that he has been Corporal Doktor’s treating psychologist for the last 22 months. He diagnosed her with PTSD and Alcohol Use Disorder, both of which are now in remission.
He indicated that she has gained insight into some of the reasons for her addiction, processed the traumatic events, and set in place plans for better coping reactions to future traumatic events.
He further advised that Corporal Doktor has maintained attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings three to four times weekly and that she has started an AA group for first responders in the Red Deer area.
She maintains a health-oriented routine that has assisted her in becoming healthier and more positive. She continues to be motivated towards self-improvement and is hoping to return to work so she can contribute once again as a regular member of the RCMP.
 Mr. Roy concluded that Corporal Doktor has made significant changes in her life and has shown a commitment to maintain them. She has been sober for 25 months (at the time of his report) and remains strong in her resolve. She has a better understanding of the factors that led to her addiction and has improved her coping strategies to manage the stress that caused her problems.
He opined that she would continue to be an asset to the RCMP. The Conduct Authority accepted the report of Mr. Roy and declined the opportunity to cross-examine him on it.
According to the report submitted by Registered Psychologist Sara Norum, Corporal Doktor suffers from “PTSD with dissociative symptoms and Alcohol Use Disorder, in sustained remission.”
Norum said “Corporal Doktor’s PTSD arose from her exposure to traumatic events working as a member of the RCMP and that she used alcohol to dissociate from the related disturbing feelings.”
With respect to the likelihood of recidivism, Dr. Norum stated:
[Corporal] Doktor has attended residential treatment and she attends AA weekly and has developed reliable supports through this program. She also has been attending [Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)] therapy weekly to treat her PTSD and [Alcohol Use Disorder] since January 2020, and she has individuals who she remains accountable to, enabling her to remain honest with herself and others.
This multifaceted approach has resulted in her ability to maintain her sobriety since entering treatment in 2018 and has reduced the risk of relapse significantly. Corporal Doktor’s actions have matched her words – she has demonstrated a determination to reprocess her trauma and learn new strategies to cope with stressors in her life, all of this suggests her prognosis is very positive going forward.
“Anita Doktor has now been sober for 27 months and counting,” said the report.
- Corporal Doktor took responsibility for her actions. She entered a guilty plea in Provincial Court to operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over 80 mg% and to assaulting a police officer in the course of his duties.
- She has done everything that can be expected of someone in her position to rehabilitate herself after hitting her “rock bottom” with this incident. She underwent a 57-day inpatient treatment program, and followed it up with a textbook aftercare program. As a result, she has now been sober for 27 months.
- She committed to a healthy lifestyle and sought the necessary counselling and support mechanisms. She sought out the right professionals to assist her in dealing with her PTSD, the root cause of her alcoholism. She has undergone and continues to undergo EMDR therapy, which is very effective for her in dealing with her past traumas. As a result, she is well equipped to deal with the stressors of everyday life and work.
- In addition, she is using her experiences to help others in the same or similar situations, which also helps to keep her sober. That includes organizing and maintaining an AA group for first responders in the Red Deer area.
- She has started to make amends with those harmed by her misconduct, apologizing for her actions on June 1, 2018, although it is acknowledged that she has more to do in that regard.
- She expressed her remorse on the witness stand and I accept it as genuine.
- She has been a consistently good performer and has the continuing support of many of her colleagues and some senior members of the RCMP.
 In my view, the first goal of discipline is still rehabilitation and even the Conduct Authority has acknowledged that Corporal Doktor’s efforts towards rehabilitation have been impressive. Since the misconduct on June 1, 2018, she has gone about her business in a manner rarely seen. She has acknowledged her poor behaviour and taken action to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Because we are dealing with alcoholism, it cannot be said that she will never relapse, but she has done as much as one can do to maintain her sobriety, taking it a day at a time.
Since it is solely her lack of sobriety that is behind her misconduct, I am confident that the risk of reoffending is low. What all the letters of reference and the performance documents tell me is that Corporal Doktor is a good performer, a hard-working and conscientious employee with 13 years of service. The RCMP has invested substantially in her and I believe she is now in a good position to repay that investment with continued good service.
 I agree with the sentiment expressed in the Conduct Measures Guide that, in most instances, a second impaired driving contravention will attract dismissal. However, this case is one of the rare exceptions, one which passes the public interest test. I’ve not been privy to a case where the subject member involved has done as much to rehabilitate herself as Corporal Doktor. I’m rarely as confident that a subject member’s future carries such a low risk of recidivism given her efforts and the ongoing supports she has in place.
 However, her repeated misconduct is extremely serious and I must fashion conduct measures that send the appropriate message in terms of denunciation and general deterrence. Impaired driving by anyone cannot be tolerated. A second incident of impaired driving by a police officer must be dealt with in a harsh manner. While I am not going to direct her resignation, as requested by the Conduct Authority, the conduct measures I impose are going to be felt by her and serve as a warning to her colleagues.
 In this case, I impose as conduct measures:
- a reprimand;
- an indefinite demotion from the rank of corporal to constable (at the highest pay increment of that level);
- an ineligibility for subsequent promotion for a period of two years;
- a financial penalty of 80 hours of pay;
- a forfeiture of annual leave of 80 hours;
- a direction to continue to attend counselling sessions and therapy with Ms. Norum, or another therapist, until such time as you, your therapist and the Health Services Officer all agree that they are no longer necessary; and
- a transfer to another work location at the discretion of the Commanding Officer.