Drinking in charge of a vehicle

#1
A relative is due in court charged with drunk in charge of a vehicle He is intending to plead guilty, what sort of fine / ban might he get.
He was taking his car to the garage and was intending to leave the car and walk home. When he arrived, the garage was not yet open so he sat in the car and had two cans of larger. He was not driving and had no intention of driving however the police saw him drinking in the car. He fully accepts he was drinking in charge of the vehicle but does it matter he had no intention of driving the car??
 
#2
What was his reading in breath at the police station?
What time was this?
Can he get confirmation from the garage that the cR was booked in to be worked on.
 

hewl

Well-known member
#3
Was he parked in a space where the garage would then have taken charge of the vehicle? If so, he may have a defence.

I quote:

"The law states that someone cannot be convicted of an “in charge” offence if they can prove there was no intention and / or likelihood of the vehicle being driven whilst the driver was over the prescribed limit.


Unlike many other offences, with the offence of being drunk in charge, the accused must prove that they did not have any intention to drive the vehicle. The prosecution is not required to prove that the accused was likely to drive whilst unfit or over the limit.


A defence is available if it can be shown that there was no likelihood of driving whilst over the prescribed limit and doing this should be established by expert scientific evidence or compelling circumstantial evidence. These defences are known as statutory defences."

Also, how long was the vehicle due to be at the garage? If it was not same day pick up, it will be easier to defend.

Whilst not the smartest thing to do, I think your relative needs to explore this charge in more depth before he rolls over with a guilty plea. A solicitor would be advisable.
 
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#4
Not sure where he was parked or what his reading was- I think he is a bit embaressed by it all. It was in the morning and the garage was late opening due to the snowy weather. unfortunately he cannot confirm an arranged apt as it was just to leave the car with them and pick up at the end of the day for a steam clean and they had told him he could bring it anytime. He has no previous convictions- is he jut likely to get 10 penalty points
 

hewl

Well-known member
#5
Not sure where he was parked or what his reading was- I think he is a bit embaressed by it all. It was in the morning and the garage was late opening due to the snowy weather. unfortunately he cannot confirm an arranged apt as it was just to leave the car with them and pick up at the end of the day for a steam clean and they had told him he could bring it anytime. He has no previous convictions- is he jut likely to get 10 penalty points
It's a mandatory 10 penalty points or a discretionary driving disqualification.

He really should explore a defence. Even if there was not an arranged appointment would be garage confirm in writing that he was bringing the car in? Thing is why else would he be there except to leave the car??

As much as I hate drink drivers I also hate injustice so really recommend he seeks advice from a drink driving specialist solicitor before he makes the decision to plead guilty. It will mean a hike in car insurance and a criminal record too, so the stakes are high!
 
#6
Hewl is right with his advice. It is difficult to say what the options are without knowing the reading or the timeframe involved, also how far away the garage is from where he lives. A steam clean would not take long, how was he going to get home if he was leaving it there? The reading is important, to assess if a couple of cans would account for the reading, or if he would be still driving over the limit hours later when he would have collected the car if it was high. Did he tell the police that he had been drinking after he drove?
 
#7
The police would know he was drinking after driving as he was drinking in the car when he was parked. The car was having an engine steam clean and then the mechanics were to look for an oil leak so the car would have been there all day. It is about a ten to fifteen minute walk home and it should have been obvious that he intended to walk back as he had his dog and dog lead with him as the intention was always to walk home with the dog. Will have a chat with him about all the points raised and if he was only just over the limit he may well challenge after seeking legal advice.
 
#8
Those points are good towards showing no likelihood of driving. As Hewl says, this sort of case is best presented by a solicitor with experience of drink driving cases, to ensure that the relevant facts are presented in the best possible light.
 
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