ha...at least I saved duty on 4 bottles, and flying to Toronto instead of to Buffalo would have probably cost me $650 more in any event. Still annoying; either Customs at Pearson isn't following policy or customs at Lewiston isn't; if there is no discretion than so be it; if there is discretion, then F U to Lewiston customs, and biotch crossing guard who flagged us for search in these circumstances; at least the officers who came to the car realized immediately that their time was being wasted.
According to my brother-in-law, who works at various ports-of-entry in Windsor, the policy is to refer significant overages of bottles to secondary, meaning the tax and duty would be worth the cost of processing the transactions. But they all have full discretion to make decisions to refer or not as they think best. For example, if there are long lines, or they are short-staffed, they are inclined to refer fewer people. But if they have any reason to suspect someone is up to no good, they can refer them even if they have no extra bottles, as their prime directive (so to speak!) is public safety not revenue generation.