Alcohol and Motorhomes.

Plumberman

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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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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?

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.
 

mapa

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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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hilldweller

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A common sense approach is taken when dealing with these cases as they can be very hard to prove.

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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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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Plumberman

Plumberman

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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?

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Plumberman

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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:
 

scotjimland

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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:

yes , a few times, but a reminder does no harm..:thumb:

http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/motorhome-chat/66842-criminal-offence.html

http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/u-shaped-lounge/59535-drink-drive.html

http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/motorhome-chat/6586-drink-dont-drive.html

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Inthezone

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

Puddleduck

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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 ::bigsmile:
 

TheBig1

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many many years! since I was a kid
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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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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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.
A police officer cannot order you to break the law.
 
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A police officer cannot order you to break the law.

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

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Last edited:
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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 motor after floods once.

Tim
That's a posher answer than mine :roflmto:
 
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Plumberman

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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 .
 
Oct 1, 2013
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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 .
Yup, we got a couple cheap on Ebay :Smile:

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Chris

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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.
 
Oct 1, 2013
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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.
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:
 

Chris

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


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

Absolutely.

People forget also that your body usually gets rid of alcohol at the rate of about 1 pint every 2 hours.

This means of course that over an 8 hour drinking session 4 pints of beer would disappear automatically.

This probably means you would be ok to have 8-10 pints:thumb:

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Oct 1, 2013
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Absolutely.

People forget also that your body usually gets rid of alcohol at the rate of about 1 pint every 2 hours.

This means of course that over an 8 hour drinking session 4 pints of beer would disappear automatically.

This probably means you would be ok to have 8-10 pints:thumb:
Kin 'ell :Smile:

Yor me besht mate (hic) you are :Blush:
 

Puddleduck

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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 .

We got them because we saw them. Likely hood of ever needed them is next to nil.

The guy in the workshop next to my office was over the limit the next morning and banned. Silly so-and-so, it cost him his business as he was a self-employed electrician.

A 15 year-old was also done and banned for a year.... since he was also driving without a licence or insurance as he was under age (he did have the owners permission to drive the car) I wonder what difference a year's ban would make as he would still be under age when it ran out.
 
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A 15 year-old was also done and banned for a year.... since he was also driving without a licence or insurance as he was under age (he did have the owners permission to drive the car) I wonder what difference a year's ban would make as he would still be under age when it ran out.[/QUOTE]

I’m sure the ban comes into force from age 17, so can’t think about driving till 18 years old ?

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Puddleduck

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A 15 year-old was also done and banned for a year.... since he was also driving without a licence or insurance as he was under age (he did have the owners permission to drive the car) I wonder what difference a year's ban would make as he would still be under age when it ran out.

I’m sure the ban comes into force from age 17, so can’t think about driving till 18 years old ?

That's what I thought so I asked his Dad - it came into force with immediate effect. It may delay him getting a scooter licence and that's about it.

The retribution from his Dad was worse than anything the court could impose. The boy's parents had recently divorced and the son was living with his Mother and her partner. It was the partner who had asked the young man to drive the car to pick him up from the social club.
 
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Plumberman

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Dunno, I've never bothered about it 'cause I don't drink alcohol . . . .::bigsmile:
Best way Scattycat,you don't have to worry about all these issues.
Unfortunately I got a taste for the demon drink a long time ago.::bigsmile:::bigsmile:

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Sep 21, 2013
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Drunk in charge

So if I've got the motorhome ignition key hung up in the usual safe hiding place and the hab keys on me which also has the car ignition key on and I've had a few sherberts which vehicle am I in charge of ?
 
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Good cofternoon anstable. I'm not under the affluence of incohol. (Hic)

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