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Beaver man
3rd May 2014, 10:23
Here's one for the Traffic Coppers/Legal Beagles:

If you drive to the pub, have a bit more to drink than planned, and decide to sleep it off in your car, the coppers can do you for drink driving.

So what is the score if you have a camper van, and have arranged with the landlord to park up overnight? Can Mr Plod still come along and do you?

BM

Fareastdriver
3rd May 2014, 10:26
If they can they will have a ball in a caravan park.

Seldomfitforpurpose
3rd May 2014, 10:26
Here's one for the Traffic Coppers/Legal Beagles:

If you drive to the pub, have a bit more to drink than planned, and decide to sleep it off in your car, the coppers can do you for drink driving.

So what is the score if you have a camper van, and have arranged with the landlord to park up overnight? Can Mr Plod still come along and do you?

BM

'Kin hope not as we often do this :eek:

anotherthing
3rd May 2014, 10:28
If the keys are within reach, i.e. withing the vehicle, then you can get done. If you'd made such arrangements with the landlord then maybe best to leave the keys with him whilst you slept it off.

Of course one would hope common sense would prevail but we can't always rely on that. I know of a pub with a campsite/camper van site on it's grounds but only a hundred metres from the main road. I'm sure that there would never be any question of an attempt at conviction in this case, but a vand or car parked in a car park might be different.

One would hope that any judge or magistrate would listen to the evidence and dismiss the case, if it got that far.

SMT Member
3rd May 2014, 10:30
Dunno about the UK, but where I'm from it depends on where you're sitting in the vehicle, and whether or not the key is in the ignition. So, if you're fast asleep behind the wheel with the key in the ignition, you can get busted - doesn't matter what kind of vehicle it is. But, if you're NOT behind the wheel and if the keys are NOT in the ignition, then you won't.

And they say common sense is not that common ....

PLovett
3rd May 2014, 10:32
Dunno' what the law in the UK says but in some parts of Orstraya the answer is "yes" if you have the car keys in your possession. Its all in the definition of being in control of a motor vehicle. Doesn't matter if the keys are not in the ignition so long as you have them.

814man
3rd May 2014, 11:34
Many years ago on a military base in Germany a friend of mine was done for drink driving by the RMP, who follow same as UK law for this, and in his defense he tried to use the excuse that he was not intending to drive. I recall sitting through the long legal debate but he was convicted in the end.
In his case we had been to a BBQ on base on a hot summer evening which had ended in a thunderstorm. After walking back to our barrack block in early hours my mate noticed he had left his sun roof open on his new car parked next to the block and his seats were now soaking wet. Mate decided that as he is drunk but not all that tired he will get a load of CDs and go and sit in his new car and listen to music with engine running and heater on to try to dry it out.
Couple of hours later after RMP patrol pass and notice car with engine running they stop, breath him and prosecute for drink driving, even though they actually agreed with and accepted his story that he had not driven his car and had no intention of doing so - he was actually found sat stretched out on the back seat.
I forget all the detailed legal stuff but the intention bit my mate was trying to rely on did not come into it and he was done for having the potential to drive I seem to think which was focused on possession of the keys. Be interesting to see how this works in the camper van scenario.

MFC_Fly
3rd May 2014, 12:22
Turn the drivers seat round so it faces into the lounge area (if you have a seat that swivels), put on your PJ's (or other obvious sleeping attire) and climb into bed. Even the most anal PC Plod would see that you had no intention of driving the vehicle.

Fareastdriver
3rd May 2014, 12:36
Unfortunately there is a period from when you have returned from the pub to getting organised in that way.

Me. I never drink & drive; it spills all over your lap.

Mac the Knife
3rd May 2014, 12:51
"....prosecute for drink driving, even though they actually agreed with and accepted his story that he had not driven his car and had no intention of doing so - he was actually found sat stretched out on the back seat. <snip> I forget all the detailed legal stuff but the intention bit my mate was trying to rely on did not come into it and he was done for having the potential to drive..."

Interesting thought. If one can be guilty just by virtue of having the potential for doing something naughty, despite having no intention of doing it then surely the entire population ought to be incarcerated toot-sweet?

(I'm sure a few people think this would be a fine idea just on general principles.)

"Anything that you are not specifically permitted to do is illegal and you can and will be arrested for nothing at all".

Iosif Vissarionovitch would be smiling.

Mac

:suspect:

OFSO
3rd May 2014, 16:45
If one can be guilty just by virtue of having the potential for doing something naughty,

But that's the way it is in the UK, Germany and many other countries.

If you are (a) inside the vehicle and (b) in possession of the keys and (c) drunk, you are intoxicated whilst in control of a motor vehicle.

Yes, technically also on a campsite, although it is doubtful the magistrates would find you guilty even if the CPS were daft enough to prosecute*.



*And they probably would be.

814man
3rd May 2014, 17:04
For any military colleagues out there the case I referred to was prosecuted at a Courts Martial and my mate was defended by the "legendary Gilbert Blades":
http://www.pprune.org/military-aircrew/492056-gilbert-blades-scourge-uk-mod-courts-martial.html
However even he failed to get my mate off.

AtomKraft
3rd May 2014, 17:09
Well, it might be way things are in our crazed little island, but in most of the rest of the world, convicting someone of 'drink driving' while they sleep in the back seat is still recognised for what it is;

A load of bollocks.

VP959
3rd May 2014, 17:29
Isn't there some confusion here over the actual charge?

As I understand it, there are two offences associated with drinking and motor vehicles. The first, and most commonly encountered, is "drink driving", or more specifically "driving, or attempting to drive, a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol".

However, there is another offence, that of "being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol".

Both carry similar penalties, but are annotated on your licence with different codes, the first is a DR10, the second a DR40.

The second offence relies on the prosecution proving that you were "in charge" of the vehicle at the time of arrest. "In charge" means being in, or near, the vehicle and in possession of the keys, or alternative means of activating the vehicle such that it may be driven (as some cars no longer use keys). There is no requirement to prove any intention to drive in the second case, the fact that you are in charge of the vehicle and under the influence of alcohol is all that's required to be found guilty.

Technically, this means that the case of someone in a camper van who's over the limit, but who has no intention of driving (either because they are on a camp site or have parked up to sleep it off) could be prosecuted for being "drunk in charge" if they have with them the means to get the vehicle started. As always it would come down to the judgement of the police officer as to whether to breath test and arrest someone under these conditions, but the sure fire way to avoid being charged for the example quoted by the OP would be to ensure that he/she didn't have the keys or whatever to start the camper. Giving them to the landlord for safe keeping would seem a pretty sure fire way to be safe from conviction.

AtomKraft
3rd May 2014, 17:37
Well, if I'm pished, have the car keys on me and my motor sitting a few paces away outside my door.....

How is that so different from sleeping in the back of the car, pished, with no intention at all of driving it?

Answer, it's a legal device that's available help convict someone who was very recently driving drunk, but they didn't actually catch him doing so.
As usual, this then morphs into some nitwit getting convicted of a serious offence when no crime has really been committed- your pub car park guy.

Least, dats how I see it.;)

G-CPTN
3rd May 2014, 17:40
Doesn't 'Drunk in charge' have to be on a public highway?

It is an offence for a person to be in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place with excess alcohol in his breath or in blood or urine as evidenced by a certificate of analysis or statement.http://www.drinkdrivinglaw.co.uk/offences/in_charge_of_a_vehicle_with_excess_alcohol.htm


Whether or not a person is in charge of a motor vehicle is or the facts of each individual case, the key question being whether the person is in control of the vehicle and whether in the circumstances there is a realistic possibility of him taking control of the vehicle. These cases will usually arise in circumstances where a motorist who is above the prescribed limit is found inside a car, but is not driving. The unwitting motorist can easily stumble into this situation, where they enter their car for the purpose of sleeping or with the intention of removing belongings.
If it is alleged that you were “in charge” of a motor vehicle whilst the proportion of alcohol in your breath/blood/urine was above the prescribed limit or you were “unfit”, then you will have a defence if you can show that there was no likelihood of you driving your vehicle whilst you remained in excess of the prescribed limit or unfit.
This type of defence will often present itself where a person decides to sleep in their car after a night out or after finding themselves unexpectedly without a place to sleep. In these circumstances whilst you may be in charge of the vehicle and may even have switched the engine on to get warm, you will be acquitted of the offence if you can show (the burden of proof is on the defence) that you would not have driven the vehicle whilst still over the limit.
In order to prove this defence, expert evidence will be required addressing your breath/blood/urine reading (or unfitness) and the rate at which you would have eliminated (metabolised) alcohol, so as to establish at what point in the future you would have been fit to drive. By way of example if you had consumed alcohol up to 12pm and then slept in your car with the intention of driving when you woke at 7am, a report would be required showing that by 7am the proportion of alcohol in your system would have been below the prescribed limit.
In addition to this defence there are a number of more general defences which may be argued surrounding the factual circumstances of the offence, the accuracy of the breath specimen and other procedural defences.

http://www.drinkdrivingdefences.co.uk/drink-driving-offences/being-drunk-in-charge/


I would have thought that the police would have no jurisdiction over a camp-site (or, maybe, even a pub carpark) - unless you had been seen to have driven the vehicle there shortly before (when, I believe they can enter your home and breathalyse you?).

4mastacker
3rd May 2014, 18:14
Mr G-CPTN,

I think it's anywhere to which the public have access.

A few years ago, Mrs 4ma and I took the kids to a holiday park in Wales. On the first night, the compere in the park's club warned the happy campers that although it was a private site, the public did have access and local plod would prosecute anyone who drove from the club to their caravan and was found to be over the limit.

VP959
3rd May 2014, 18:32
Yes, "public access" does mean any bit of land to which the public have a right of access.

Since the "right to roam" legislation this now includes most of England and Wales (Scotland is slightly different in that it has always had wider access rights to most land).

con-pilot
3rd May 2014, 20:29
There was a case here where a guy was in the driveway of his home, asleep in the back seat of his car (passed out if you want my opinion), the police woke him, made him take a breath analyzer test, which he failed and the police arrested him for DUI because the keys were in his hand.

His attorney argued in court that the arrest was illegal as he was on his private property and the police trespassed to make the illegal arrest. He also argued that the defendant had been arguing with his wife and went out to sleep in his car. He also argued that the police could not prove that the vehicle had been driven recently nor that the defendant had any intent of driving said vehicle, as he did not have his billfold or any money and was in his pajamas and robe.

He was still found guilty of DUI.

What I want to know is, how did the police know he was in his car if he was laying down in the back seat asleep? A clue just might be the fact that he was arguing with his wife. Ya think maybe. :p

RedhillPhil
3rd May 2014, 20:45
Have consulted number one son - police plod.
Keys in hand or upon person = in charge of vehicle.
Sitting in driving seat, keys or not = in charge of vehicle.
Sitting/lying/sprawled elsewhere with no access to keys = not in charge of vehicle.

ExSp33db1rd
3rd May 2014, 21:19
In NZ - I'm told - it is not illegal to be drinking whilst driving, just illegal to be over the legal limit of permitted alcohol level in the blood if so.

Not inclined to test it.

No idea what the definition of "being in charge" is.

cornish-stormrider
3rd May 2014, 22:29
install in your vehicle a small key safe,
put a pair of chocks (or coppers) under the front wheels.
climb into vehicle, secure keys in safe.
sleep it off.

keys are secured in a safe place - and i'm too pished to remember the combination occifer -hic

and i chocked the vehicle to prove i had no intention of driving.
now piss off and catch someone who is actually drink driving - or on the phone - or no insurance

etc

Fliegenmong
4th May 2014, 00:30
Was in a City pub many years ago, and the state constabulary were running a campaign "Drink & Drive, you're a bloody idiot".....

So in this pub we must have been watching football or something...at the time, and the advertisement comes on showing pictures of people being pulled over etc., eventually the advertisement ended with a voice over saying "Drink & Drive, you're a bloody idiot"

....From behind me some clown shouts out, "Drink & Drive and make it home you're a bloody legend!!!" :}

Exascot
4th May 2014, 07:56
You can be in charge of a knife but not have to stab someone with it.

Ridiculous law but the son of a colleague was done for drunk in charge when sleeping in a car after a party. Surely a pub car park is usually private property so not applicable.

Then there was the C130 captain who was stopped by the coppers after happy hour for a brake light. The police did a walk around of his car to check for anything else so he did a walk around of their car. 'Done my son' :D

Tu.114
4th May 2014, 08:14
There is a way around all of this. Drink to Your hearts content while driving a vehicle without upsetting any police along the way...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b2/Beer_Bike_Ulm_Germany_IMG_5911s.jpg/800px-Beer_Bike_Ulm_Germany_IMG_5911s.jpg