Drinking and sleeping in vehicle can result in lost license !

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Monty, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Monty

    Monty Read Only Funster

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    I thought I would share this story, just to make people mindful of what can happen, also to hear your views.

    I live in Cornwall, where during my younger years, myself and alot of my friends lived in vans & campers during the summer months and saved enough money to go travelling throughout the winter. One night we were at the pub, one of our friends decided to leave early to go to bed, he walked up to the carpark were his camper (self build) was parked and unlocked it. He had the sliding door open and was setting up his bed. Whilst in the front getting something from the passenger footwell a police car pulled up and asked what he was up to. Realising he was quite drunk they asked him to do a breath test. He told them he had no intension of driving and was getting ready for bed. He was told that it made no difference he was not driving as he was still in possession of the keys, which made him drunk in charge of a motor vehicle. The outcome was, he lost his license. Whenever I'm sleeping in a vehicle I make sure the wife has the keys, as I'm the named driver. Worth a thought before you sit on the drivers seat with the keys in your hand !
     
  2. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    I had a similar one when I was pre 20's, I was in the TA at the time and in uniform, I had been drinking in the barracks bar and realized I was too drunk to ride my motorcycle home so I started to push on a 3 miles journey

    I got about 1 mile from the barracks and was arrested, (before the bag blowing days) and eventually fined for drunk in charge.

    Doug...
     
  3. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Same sort of thing happened to an uncle of mine in the 1950s/1960s. Being too drunk to drive he went to sleep in the car (can't recall whether it was front or rear) and was proscuted for being drunk in charge.

    Graham
     
  4. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hasn't the drunk in charge rule always been a bit iffy? Its about drunk driving, not drunk sleeping. Its a "cop out" making it an offence to sleep in a vehicle, just because you might go on to break the drink drive laws.:RollEyes:

    IMO the law in this area is an Ass, I am sure the law has its uses, the trouble is in my experience most coppers are not trusted to show any discretion. They must follow rules and procedures to the letter. So if you are unlucky enough to get the copper thats had the operation where they remove the brain and all common sense and replace it with the Blackstones police manual, you are nicked, even if you are in your PJ's. :RollEyes:
     
  5. Pat4Neil

    Pat4Neil Read Only Funster

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    I would hope that discretion would be used. But if we are wild camping we limit the amount of drink we have just in case we have to make a quick getaway.


    Apart from Jims post all the rest have mentioned what happened yonks ago.

    Pat
     
  6. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    Surely if the vehicle is in the pub car park it is private land. The offence is drunk in charge on a public highway. ie roadside verge or layby are all part of the highway. As has been stated it is not driving it is being in charge ie. pushing the bike along the road. You can drive on private roads without tax, insurance, seat belts or even when drunk.

    It is often shown on TV that the police sit outside a pub waiting for a driver to attempt to leave the car park before they can take action. If it was simply drunk in charge then having a drink on a caravan site in the motorhome would be an offence. Remember you can still be over the limit next morning.

    By the way I do not drink at all, but have been breathalysed once for having a tail lamp off.

    John
     
  7. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    We agree with John on this one, if you are on a public road then you`re nicked but if you are on private property the police can`t take action along the drunk in charge of a motor vehicle route.

    I remember in the 1970`s the police came onto a pub car park and were breathalysing people as they opened their cars, it took quite a while to get them to leave the car park, (no mobile phones in those days) and almost a few punch ups.

    Of course it`s easy to say this now but if you get that idiot single minded officer then you are going to have a fight on your hands, court appearance, barrister charges etc etc. to face.

    Looking at the current police force booking people for blowing there nose or eating an apple whilst in a car these incidents will still keep happening.
    The crown prosecution should also be branded as idiots for allowing the cases to be brought to court.
     
  8. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Hi there,

    Having been a victim of a DIC driver's actions on a camp site whilst asleep, I can confirm that although he was arrested, breathalysed and interviewed, he got away with the crime. This apparently was due to the site owner being able to demonstrate that the general public did not have free access to the site, ie, controlled entry and exit barriers in operation. This is despite me being able to source CCTV footage, which clearly showed him driving "on a public" road, seconds before entering the camp site, and reversing into our stationary MH.

    The Police have the same problems at places such as Centre Parcs, etc. What I am saying is that if there is free access to the public, even though it is private land, you can be done for DIC.

    You are right Jim, the law is an ass at times. :Angry:

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  9. Loddy

    Loddy Read Only Funster

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    The question is was there intent to drive, if you are sitting in the drivers seat with the ignition keys in then you could get done, if you are walking about in your jim jams and making ovaltine then not, a lot are thrown out of court because of "no intent ".

    I know I live with a JP

    Loddy
     
  10. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Not quite true..

    A public place includes many areas that are generally thought to be private property, for instance a pub car park (unless the pub is closed and there is some physical barrier after hours such as a gate.)


    Drunk in charge of a motor vehicle is a different charge from drink driving.

    You can be guilty of this offence just by sitting in the car while over the drink driving limit. Being ‘in charge’ of a vehicle is not defined by the 1988 Road Traffic Act and is therefore a matter of fact. This then involves argument.

    The offence falls into two distinct classes: whether you are the lawful owner or possessor of the vehicle, or the recent driver.

    A defence against this charge will usually relate to proving that there was no likelihood of you driving the vehicle while over the limit.

    http://www.solicitorssheffield.net/drink-driving.html
     
  11. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    I would think that if you enter the MH through the side door.
    The cab seats are turned round into the Hab , the police would have a hard time proving that you were about to start up the vehicle and go. Especially if the ignition keys were in the MH ( safe :Wink: ) and you were only using the alarm fob and Hab door key to get in.
    Thats what we do if we are at our favourite pub having a meal and stop over.
    But we are yet to be stopped. To be proven wrong. I wouldnt want to stop at the side of the road, or in a layby, over night anyway.
    Unless up in the wilds somewhere where you would probably not see another car , let alone a policeman:thumb:

    Just noticed your post Jim. We posted at the same time. I wasnt aware of that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Not so it is a public place.
     
  13. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    That woman in the recent case where the custody seargant got six months for assault was pulled for drunk in charge whilst asleep in her car.

    She got off however no doubt due to the subsequent assault case

    Peter
     
  14. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    We are arguing the wrong point here. If you drive don't drink, simple. If you are likely to be driving within 24 hours DON'T drink, an impaired mind will make impaired decisions. If you want to drink book into a site with a shop so you have no need to leave it. It is very easy to say I have a good tolerance to drink, I'll be fine in the morning. That is just excuses. If you must drink every day, take a bus and a package tour. Be safe and keep your loved ones safe. If you must drink at a pub stopover, leave your keys over the bar with the landlord. simple. A pub carpark is a public place whilst the pub is open. It becomes a private place when the pub is closed.
     
  15. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    I have had to defend this more than once


    Jim,

    I have had to defend this more than once.. It often comes down to where in the car (or camper) the person is and where the keys are. If in the ignition and the driver is in the driving seat then it is 10 to 1 a conviction. PJ do not come into it, as you could be in the nude (except you have nowhere for the keys) If the keys are in the glove box no cigar.. but drunks normally have them in there pockets (except in PJ's and the nude that is) or left in the door lock (outside the vehcile) or in the ignition.. easy cop for a copper. Even being in the passenger seat is an offence... who is the driver???

    Motor-homes still have the same rules.

    I do not make the law, just defend those that run up against it (or did)... I do not have any truck with drunk or drugged drivers. If the idiot gets in to the driving seat when he is over the limit then he is fair game as far as I am concerned and police can nick him regardless.

    I would suggest for light reading Jim, you look at Archbold criminal pleadings, evidance and practice.. see it from the law side and not from Blackstones (which the police use.. which is a waste of space).:Wink:

    Bob - wearing I rest my case m'lud hat to day.:thumb:
     
  16. Jaygee32

    Jaygee32 Read Only Funster

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    Best stick to tea coffee or fruit juice.:thumb:
     
  17. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    yes correct


    Jock you are right. I do love reading all the posts that think they are right on the law. Barrack room lawyers... I went through 4 years to get my law degree and collage before that and many years in a solicitors office... so I do love reading what people say about pub forecourts.

    Read my lips..... if public have right of access then you can be nicked.. it can be sainsbury's car park, Tesco's car park, the 7-11 car park or the pub car park.. it is all the same in the law.

    The campsite with barriers would be a defence. Would not stop you being nicked.

    I am not judging the issue just telling you what the law is... had many a client nicked on a pub forecourt and as I have said in an earlier post depends on lots of issues about the keys.. that is the KEY (excuse the pun:shout:) to the issue...

    What other free advice do you want?

    Bob:thumb:
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Same applies to all with trades and professions Bob, we have experts on every subject .... :thumb:

    I'm often amazed how diverse Fun motorhome owners are ...

    From body guards to nurses, firemen and policemen, layers and doctors, builders, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, teachers, bakers and candle stick makers :Laughing:
     
  19. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    we call then blue rinse and two pearls


    Remember any JP has to be advised on the law by the clerk and he is a qualified lawyer of standing. It is not the JP that decides the law. The JP is informed by the clerk as to what he or she may decide on the case and often the JP is not aware of the complex legal issues unless they are a stipendary magistrate.

    Solicitors have for years refered to the magistrates as 'Blue rinse and two pearls' simply because they do not have an idea of the law. Few have a law degree and judge matters in my personal views wrongly. They tend to side with police in the lower courts hence so many cases go to appeal to a qualified court (the crown court). They throw cases out when they should not and convict when they should not... That is why people get the wrong end of the stick about legal issues.

    We should (in my view) have professional courts with qualified people to decide on what is and is not guilt.. including motor offences.

    I have many a time got motorists off when they should have been sent down.. it all comes down to how good the defence is... in the law we say if you can afford justice you will get justice £££££ decide the issue.

    So do not be fooled that the justice system we have is so wonderful and JP's are the answer.. sorry they are not and I am speaking from the defence side of the table.

    CPS are a waste of space.. if they did a better job of prepreations then more convictions would follow.. same for police, they lose more cases as they do not comply with PACE (Police and criminal justcie Act 1984)

    Bob:Angry:
     
  20. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    I expect so


    Peter..fruit of the posion tree...

    Bob:thumb:
     
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