This came up in a legal group I follow - can anyone suggest a way you
could demonstrate that there was no realistic probability that, while
you are in your vehicle, you were going to drive while under the influence?
I'm thinking in terms of parking up, having a drink in a pub, then
sleeping in the car/camper etc. It's suggested that leaving the keys
with the pub landlord might show sufficient non-intent, but that raises
the problem of getting into and locking the vehicle.
An interesting question.
I suspect the matter would be looked at depending on the circumstances.
A motorhome/camper on a site, clearly 'there for the night' is quite
different to someone napping in the back seat of a saloon car in a pub
carpark, even if in both cases those in the vehicles are 'over the limit'.
Where is gets grey, is when you get cases like pubs which offer 'stop
over' facilities, essentially free (or cheap) overnight parking for
motorhomes/campers. Some require you to perhaps be a customer, I
believe. (I've never used one, we prefer sites with facilities, we like
our comforts- although our new motorhome is better equipped so perhaps
we may try some of the more basic sites, including stop overs, and Aires
in Europe etc. There, I suspect, if the motorhome/camper was in
'parked up' mode, then you'd be OK. Certainly, if you were tucked up in
bed etc, blinds/curtains closed, seats swivelled, etc no sensible person
would believe you were about to drive off.
However, someone having a nap in an ordinary car wouldn't have the back
up of the evidence a motorhome/camper in parked up mode provides.
The law on sleeping elsewhere is somewhat vague. This comes up from time
to time in the various motorhome forums and the various Gov. depts have
been asked. The answers have never produced a law which says it is
illegal, unless there is a local prohibition. Having said that, it isn't
something I would do- regardless of alcohol, other than for a quick nap
if exhausted for safety reasons. (Not that I drink and drive, I hasten
My advice is, don't risk it. If you've had a drink, leave your car and
get taxi or a lift from someone who hasn't been drinking. Regardless of
the law, it isn't worth the risk of killing someone or yourself.
There is also the question of how long before you are back 'under the
limit'. I rarely drink more than enough to exceed the limit even if not
driving, even so, I don't drive. When I do go out planning to 'have a
drink', I still don't drink to excess- I don't like it. Even so, I avoid
driving for a good time.
Any and every means that leaves you able to access the key leaves you
exposed to the charge (sic) that you could have driven.
You could think of a safe in the vehicle with a time lock - provided you
could show to the satisfaction of the police/court that it is a time
lock you cannot defeat and that was set not to open until you were sober.
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