Saturday, August 6, 2022

STAY SAFE I’m a motoring advocate – these are the drunk driving rules NOBODY knows

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EVERYONE knows drunk driving is illegal – but do you know all the rules?

Whilst we all know you shouldn’t get behind the wheel after a drink, there are other lesser known laws that could beat you with a £2,500 fine to protect you.

Dominic Smith, director of the UK’s leading criminal driving law firm, Patterson Law, has now issued an urgent warning on how to stay safe and avoid breaking the strict rules for drinking and driving.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, a motorist can be found guilty of an offense if he is simply “responsible” for his car while intoxicated.

While it may seem harsh, this can result in motorists being prosecuted for drinking and driving, even if they never opened their car or started their engine.

The offense could see drivers banned from the road, slapped with a fine of up to £2,500 or even jailed for three months.

The strict rules have prompted Dominic to warn motorists to think twice the next time they have a drink.

The legal expert said one of the most common situations people are caught in is in the pub when revelers could try to snatch something out of their car.

He said: “I know people who should be arrested, who were in the pub with their keys and rushed to the car to get a pack of cigarettes or a coat.”

He added that drivers are shocked when they “then get arrested because they are drunk and responsible for their car.”

In the eyes of the law, drivers are guilty if it is presumed they intended to drive their car – which can even mean sitting in the back seat with the keys in their pocket.

This may leave Britons particularly vulnerable when sleeping in their car – as dozing motorists may still fall under “control of a motor vehicle”.

Dominic said: “You don’t have to start the car or even be in it to be ‘drunk’.

“The second you leave your house, if you have your car keys with you, you are technically responsible for the car.”

Dominic added that the only way to defend yourself against the offense is to prove in court that there was NO WAY you would drive – a particularly difficult assumption to challenge.

The driving attorney has issued his golden rule: if you’re drinking, don’t even go near your car. No exceptions.

Despite believing they can drive well, research by leasing company Vanarama has revealed millions of drivers could unintentionally drive over the limit while thinking they’re sober enough.

Almost a third of UK drivers were unaware that a glass of champagne would put them over the legal limit, according to the study.

Another 22 percent of drivers were unaware that drinking two small glasses of wine would also make driving illegal – which is also a criminal offense with the engine off.

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