Alcohol and Motorhomes.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Plumberman, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. Plumberman

    Plumberman Read Only Funster

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    Hi All,
    Does anyone have advice on the laws regarding drinking alcohol in a Motorhome and being in possession of the keys while parked up.
    Is it same rules as a car?
    I assume it is in a public place ie lay-bys but on private camp sites do the same rules apply?
     
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  2. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    I thought, possibly wrongly, that because motorhomes are clearly designed for sleeping in, the "drunk whilst in charge of a motor vehicle" law didn't apply, or at least, not in the same way as it would to being asleep drunk in a car.

    This may help. http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/Motorhomes/News/Legal/Alcohol-and-your-motorhome-know-the-law/_ch1_nw2526_pg1

    We stayed overnight in a pub car park just last Sunday but it was with the express prior permission of the landlord.
     
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  3. mapa

    mapa Read Only Funster

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    I'm an ex cop so hopefully I can shed some light. The law states that is an offence to be in charge of a motor vehicle ( no exceptions for motorhomes) whilst over the prescribed alcohol limit. Taken to its extreme this could mean that if you are at home with your keys in your pocket then you are still in charge of that vehicle and therefore guilty of an offence. The same would apply whilst sitting in the back of your MH. HOWEVER ....the law also places a requirement on the prosecution to prove that there was a liklyhood that you would drive whilst over the limit which would not be easy if you were parked up with the telly on and the bed made up. If however you were found in a lay by slumped over the steering wheel then you might have a bit more explaining to do. A common sense approach is taken when dealing with these cases as they can be very hard to prove.
     
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  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Thank you, excellent post.

    Normally when this question is asked it brings the internet down to a crawl for 3 days. You've just saved Jim, He Who Must Be Obeyed, about £10K in data charges.
     
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  5. ericonabike

    ericonabike Read Only Funster

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    I'm sure I remember someone being successfully prosecuted over this although he was asleep in the back of his car. The magistrate/judge ruled that he was drunk, and was in a position to drive, and so he was 'drunk in charge'. Doesn't cause me to lose too much sleep, but I'd be ultra-polite to any PC who knocked on the window of the van. Could be a difficulty if you were asked to 'move on' of course....
     
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  6. Plumberman

    Plumberman Read Only Funster

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    Thanks everyone for your replies,
    The reason I asked the question was a friend of mine was successfully prosecuted for sleeping in the back of his car on a public house Carpark and fined and banned from driving because he had the keys on his person.
    Ericonabike in the previous post has stated the same situation in another case.
    I wonder if you do not have the keys in the motorhome or about your person does this make you less liable to prosecution?
     
  7. Mi58ck

    Mi58ck Read Only Funster

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    Its easy,my wife is teetotal.she has the keys:BigGrin:
     
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  8. Plumberman

    Plumberman Read Only Funster

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    Thanks again for your replies.
    Won't dwell on the issue as I can see by previous posts the subject has been discussed before.:thumb:
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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  10. Inthezone

    Inthezone Read Only Funster

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    Drinking alcohol

    We put the ignition keys into the safe and just keep a hab door and seperate alarm remote just for this occaision.
     
  11. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

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    I drink very little, maybe two or three units a year (and not all that on the same day!) so if Puddledrake is going to have a drink (and again that is rare) he gives me his keys before we even go into a pub.

    I'd never drive even if I'd only had a part unit.

    Last time I had a drink was in Oporto after the Sandeman's tour. I couldn't finish my samples and had to give them to someone else (lovely though they were). We weren't driving but there on a cruise :BigGrin:
     
  12. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    a friend of mine lost his licence and his job for sleeping off a few drinks in his car as the vehicle was on a public road. keys were on the floor in the passenger footwell

    as others have said this becomes a bigger issue when wild camping, as there is a possibility you may be ordered to move on dont forget alcohol takes 24hrs or more to leave your system. next morning you may not feel pissed, but can easily be over the limit still to drive.
     
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  13. alan

    alan Funster

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    I was parked in Madeira Drive in brighton a few weeks ago and a car parked tight up behind me.about two in the morning we heard the police talking to the driver and telling him his keys would be confiscated and he would be took to the police station if he failed the breathalyser,he was still in his car in the morning so I presumed he had'nt had a drink.
    They never came to us and. I spoke to another motorhomes and they had'nt bothered them either. Whether they were targeting cars or he was having a pee when they drove past I'm not sure
    Alan


     
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  14. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    A police officer cannot order you to break the law.
     
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  15. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    Well, there are circumstances where something is illegal "unless you are directed to do so by a police officer". In those circumstances I don't think you could be charged though.

    I've seen traffic directed back up the "wrong" side of a motorway after floods once.

    Tim
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  16. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    That's a posher answer than mine :Laughing:
     
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  17. Plumberman

    Plumberman Read Only Funster

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    I was in Halfords the other day and saw a self breath test kit which was advertised as a legal requirement when driving in France.
    Has anyone else seen these or carries one when driving abroad?
    Was tempted to buy one and see how accurate they are .
     
  18. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    Yup, we got a couple cheap on Ebay :Smile:
     
  19. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    I certainly wouldn't buy the breath testers to go to France. There is no point because there is no penalty for breaking that "law".

    I might get some for this country though.

    I always worry about being over the limit the following day.
     
  20. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    I never have more than 4 pints if I am driving :Smile:


    But can safely have 5 or 6 in a sunny beer garden as the sun gets rid of the alcohol sooner :Smile:
     
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