Drunk in charge defence
You don’t have to be physically driving to be found guilty of being drunk in charge of a vehicle. Slater and Gordon’s expert lawyers are here to support your case if you’re being charged with a drunk in charge offence.
Drunk in charge solicitors
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What does drunk in charge mean?
A person can be charged with drunk in change of a motor vehicle on a road or public place when the alcohol level in their system exceeds the legal drink-drive limit.
To be prosecuted with a drunk in charge offence, you don’t have to be physically driving the vehicle. Anyone over the drink-driving limit can be charged if you have assumed control of the vehicle before driving it such as having possession of the keys, if there’s a realistic possibility that you’ll drive the vehicle, or even if you’ve entered the vehicle to collect belongings or to sleep.
The vehicle you have access to doesn’t have to be a car in order for you to be charged with this offence. It must be a “mechanically propelled vehicle” adapted for use on roads which means you could be drunk in charge of a car, van, lorry, motorbike, or electric-powered vehicles to name a few.
What penalties can you face for being drunk in charge?
The penalties for an offence of being drunk in charge of a vehicle vary depending on your case, though these charges do have serious consequences if proven guilty. The penalties imposed can range from 10 penalty points and a fine, to a 12 month disqualification and a three month prison sentence.
What is classified as being in charge of a vehicle while drunk?
It’s important to note that you don’t have to be physically sitting in the driving seat to be prosecuted for this offence. When over the drink-drive limit, there are numerous actions which signify you’re in charge of a vehicle such as:
- Having control over the keys
- Attempting to gain entry to the vehicle
- Having intention to take control of the vehicle
- When supervising a driver with a provisional license
You’re not classified as ‘in control’ if you’re seen at a great distance from the vehicle, even when you have possession of the keys. You also may have a defence if there was no possibility of you driving the vehicle whilst you were still over the prescribed alcohol limit.
How can you avoid a drunk in charge penalty?
To resist any temptation to drive or access your vehicle whilst over the prescribed alcohol limit you should give your keys to a trusted individual (someone that isn’t drinking) and organise an appropriate method of transport to get home in advance.
What happens if you have been charged with a drunk in charge offence?
When faced with this offence, you’ll have the opportunity to prove there was no likelihood of you driving the vehicle through a drunk in charge defence. It’s strongly recommended to seek the advice of a specialist lawyer in order to get the best possible outcome from the beginning.
From start to finish Slater and Gordon solicitors dealt with my case in a fantastic fashion. My solicitor was outstanding. He was thorough and diligent in his work, his professional approach ensured that I was at ease with my situation. I felt that I was in safe hands. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. S S (criminal defence case)
My solicitor was caring, professional and thorough in her approach and her attention to detail was what was needed on the day. I had a positive result that day and I am certain that without her help this would not have been possible. On the day she knew her legislation and I relied on her knowledge and experience which was very calming in an otherwise stressful environment. Anonymous (Regulatory case)
We have no hesitation in recommending your company to our friends and family. You have always been on hand to answer any queries and was able to explain every step of the process in a clear and concise way. It has been one of the most upsetting and stressful times over the last month or so, but has helped having you on our side. G B (criminal defence case)
I was represented by Slater and Gordon in a drink driving case. They could not have been more helpful. My solicitor supported me with understanding and consideration; listening to my concerns and worries prior to the case, whilst supplying me with sensible and practical advice. I could not have managed this awful experience without the support I gained from Slater and Gordon. Mrs A, South East (criminal defence case)
I found my solicitor to be friendly, professional and courteous and furthermore always available either by phone or near instant email replies. My case looked cut and dry and I was expecting a lengthy ban and fine, but somehow the case was thrown out! Mr Q, Essex (criminal defence case)