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Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle.

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Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:08 am

There is a lot said about what constitutes being in charge of a vehicle: it is my car, I have the keys, I believe I am technically in charge of it. And, while it is arguable as to whether I am drunk or not, I am certainly over the legal limit for driving.
This is in no way a problem: the car is outside and I am about to go to bed, but there are many scenarios where the question is not nearly so clear cut: what if the car was a campervan and I was about to go to bed in it?
Clearly there is a lot of room for discretion by the passing police officer: it is only a problem if he decides to make it so, but are there ways to make it definitively not so?
For example, to put the keys in a time lock safe, or have the ignition fitted with a breathalyser?
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Re: Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle.

Postby shootist » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:44 am

I've seen many a discussion on this subject and they all end up concluding that the definitive answer is, "It depends." If you bring your bag of 'whatifs' to any discussion you can reach any conclusion you like, but it really depends upon the circumstances. FWIW, I believe that once the prosecution can prove you are 'in charge' of the vehicle and are 'RTA drunk' then it is for the defendant to show that on the balance of probabilities he would not have driven it whilst in that condition. Feel free to whatif to your heart's content.
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Re: Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle.

Postby dls » Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:12 pm

Anything much short of leaving the keys outside the vehicle will invite prosecution. Also note that the offence is being "in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place "

If the vehicle is not in the right place will also help greatly.
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Re: Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:24 am

dls wrote:Also note that the offence is being "in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place ".

How public is public?
I'm thinking about car parks, which are open to the public, but strictly, they are private land.
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Re: Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle.

Postby Millbrook2 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:29 am

Hairyloon wrote:
dls wrote:Also note that the offence is being "in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place ".

How public is public?
I'm thinking about car parks, which are open to the public, but strictly, they are private land.


It says 'public place' so the differentiation is not public or private.
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Re: Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle.

Postby diy » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:58 pm

This is something that has bothered me, particularly as in the UK we have taken to leveraging the many rural pubs who allow motorhomes to use their car parks. Its the closest thing the UK has to the French Camping car Aire network.

I always put the blinds up, so that nobody can see what is going on inside to even form a suspicion.
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Re: Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle.

Postby shootist » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:17 pm

diy wrote:This is something that has bothered me, particularly as in the UK we have taken to leveraging the many rural pubs who allow motorhomes to use their car parks. Its the closest thing the UK has to the French Camping car Aire network.

I always put the blinds up, so that nobody can see what is going on inside to even form a suspicion.


In such circumstances it might be possible to arrange the electrics on a motorhome to have an immobilisation key but that would still allow the vehicle's electrics to be used as necessary. Then for the duration of the stay the immobilisation key could be lodged with the pub but the driver can still retain the other keys for gaining access to the motorhome.

A cheaper alternative might be to put a door bell on the motorhome door, when the driver has had a drink, with a sign that reads "Please ring twice, then piss off."
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Re: Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle.

Postby diy » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:28 pm

We tend to put the wheels on blocks and the ignition key is kept separate from the van key, but all the alarm is on the main key etc.. There is lots we can do, to give a reasonable doubt that the vehicle would not be driven. Not least would be who is intending to drive with two adults both insured etc.

The deal most pubs offer is camp in our car park for free as long as you eat and drink with us. Though more often you park separately from the car park - still very much a public place - even a camp site is a public place.

TBH I see alcohol as rubbish calories, so I'm quite happy not to have a drink. Sad I know ;)
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Re: Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:13 pm

shootist wrote:A cheaper alternative might be to put a door bell on the motorhome door, when the driver has had a drink, with a sign that reads "Please ring twice, then piss off."

Good point: if it is a home, then don't they need a warrant or an invitation to enter?
If you were not driving, nor showing any inclination to do so, then do they have the authority to insist on a breathalyser test?
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Re: Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle.

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:31 pm

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