Drunk in charge of a vehicle...?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Touchwood, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    As far as I am aware, being in possession of the keys is classed in law as being in charge of the vehicle.

    So - if I partake of a few glasses of an evening whilst parked up on a site, with no intention of driving anywhere until the next day, am I technically in breach of the law? Have there been any instances of someone being "done" for this offence?

    I'm not overly concerned you understand - it would take an unusual set of circumstances and a very keen and officious plod - but just out of interest does anyone have any experience/knowledge of this topic?
     
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  2. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    I think you are ok on a site.

    May be problems if yiou were wild camping though.
     
  3. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    I can get pretty wild after a few glasses.......:Rofl1:
     
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  4. tonywolst

    tonywolst Read Only Funster

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    There has to be an intent to use them, so if your in a car drunk sat in the drivers seat that's clearly intent, so for example if a HGV driver has 2pints and is over the limit, he could leave his/her keys in the bed in the back or top, also he has the added proof that he doesn't intend driving as his tacho hours may be up,
    Also if your on a site your probably hooked up and leveled up so no intention of moving,
    If your on private land you can do what you want, Though 12pints and handbrake turns wont go down well:Rofl1:

    Im sure there's a better/correct legal definition.
     
  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    err not quite, only if there is no access or right of access to the general public....

    a pub car park may be private land but as it's open to public use you can be charged with being 'drunk in charge'.... as some have found out

    so technically you could be done if drunk and parked in a 'public' place.. ie, lay by, car park etc although it would be very pedantic cop to arrest you in your PJs while in bed ..
     
  6. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    And of course, as we all know, there are no very pedantic cops out there.....:Wink:
     
  7. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    We have a very practical solution. Jill drives the van and I can have a few beers :Smile:
     
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  8. TDH

    TDH Funster

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    I've thought about this as well. I always put the ignition key in the glove compartment.
     
  9. Reaynger

    Reaynger Read Only Funster

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    I think the law states you are illegal if you are drunk and you are driving, attempt to drive or in charge of a motor vehicle on a road to which the public has access.

    This can be a private road such as the internal road of a campsite unless there is a barrier across at reception which is shut where it would then be deemed private land.

    Obviously if you are drunk on a pitch then you are not on the road.

    A problem could arise if you are drunk in a motorhome on a layby in such as an urban or even rural wild camping situation, in such occasions the road extends right up to the fence or wall and includes the grass verge.

    Obviously if your other half is insured to drive and has the keys then the law would be very hard to prove guilt.

    That is how I see it, any road.:thumb:
     
  10. W18BLA

    W18BLA Funster

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    I asked this question to my mates uncle who works for traffic in the westmidlands and i was told if your MH is parked in a car park or layby and your drunk and even if your staying the night you will get done.. But if your parked up and on chocks and night screens up etc then you wont get touched by the law as this is a sign you are pitched for the night (In theory and thats how they look at it) But he said the only way you will not be arrested is if you are on a private field away from the public or on a paying site. In other words don't park in asda car park and get drunk :Wink:

    Craig
     
  11. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Seems a very sensible approach.
     
  12. steveclecy

    steveclecy Read Only Funster

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    In reply to the OP, I have never heard of ANYONE being "done" for being Drunk in Charge whilst sleeping in a MH and wonder if any Funster can provide evidence of such.

    This, I am afraid, is one of the Chestnuts that do arise now and then and was fairly well covered in this thread.

    Steve
     
  13. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    I think everyone would be wise to only get rat arsed while on a site, it may also be wise to put the ignition key in a safe place...safe so that plod can,t find it and say you intended to drive.
    We can all get a little pedantic about drinking and driving, in my offroading dats, people were vehementl;y against it,..but thought nothing of staying up till 2 am when at a "meet" drinking, then driving off at eight or nine am to go offroading.........still under the influence i would guess!

    on sites, i would see no problem.....unless plod are called because you are staring through a tuggers window while urinating in his aquarool cos you have had too much falling down water........then they might decide to get a tad nasty.:Rofl1:
     
  14. joncris

    joncris Read Only Funster

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    Just a point but private land, that the public can access, IS subject to the law in other words if you're driving around the PRIVATE site after a few bevies, handbrake turns or not, you're still breaking the drink drive laws + you'll probably be charged with dangerous driving for the handbrake turns:cry:
     
  15. bernardfeay

    bernardfeay Read Only Funster

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    We drink enough beer and wine each night to be concerned with this issue.

    We do a lot of wild camping and the tricky bit crops up if you are asked to move on. In 8 years of camping we have only been moved on twice and it was early in the evening on both occasions.

    If we were over the limit and asked to move I would always plead guilty to illegal parking or trespass rather than move.

    The police also have the difficulty of deciding which one of you is in possession of the keys. After all, when the speed camera catches you then you are forced to say who was driving. If they insist on knowing who is driving the motorhome the answer has to be "neither of us"; and that must be true.

    just as an aside, we did once get a speeding ticket and had to say who was driving. We asked for photographic evidence since both of us could have been driving on that particular day. After carefully studying the image we decided it was my wife, the fat bald one and the slim transvestite in the passenger seat was let off.
     
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  16. johnp10

    johnp10 Funster

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    All true.
    If the public have unrestricted access to land, (motorway services, pub car parks, etc.) Road Traffic Acts, C&U Regs, Drink driving legislation and so on all apply.
    Who owns the land is irrelevant.
    It's the access that applies .
    In these places, if you are over the limit and in charge of a vehicle, you are drunk in charge.
    You dont need the keys in your possession to be "in charge".
     
  17. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Wasn't there a test case once where the MHer got off because his gas system was turned on and in use, therefore demonstrating he had no intent to drive the MH?
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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  19. johnp10

    johnp10 Funster

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    Dunno, but I witnessed a guy parked outside a transport cafe some years ago get nicked.
    2am: He was asleep in the back seat of a car when plod woke him, breathalised him and nicked him for DIC.
    He hadn't a clue where his keys were and plod couldnt find them.
    He obviously had no intention of driving, but that is neither an issue nor a defence.
    He was drunk and he was in charge.
    Plod was trying to explain to us drivers that he must have driven there drunk, but when it was pointed out that "must have...." isnt evidence, they went quiet.


    In all fairness, he was as pissed as a rat, but could have got pissed there.
     
  20. gypsylady

    gypsylady Read Only Funster

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    We have used our M/H for a night out.

    Drove to a CIU Club about 15 miles away, got permission from the doorman to park-up in the car park, enjoyed the turn and a couple of drinks (not excessive, but too many to drive) and stayed over til the next day.

    Curtains up, dogs on-guard. Keys hung up in usual place in habitation section, no intention of driving.

    Where does that leave us?

    AND what about the Motorhomestopover pubs? They are surely hoping we'll partake of their refreshments when we stay.

    June
     
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