Drunk in Charge of a Motor Vehicle

It is an offence to be found in charge of a vehicle whilst the amount of alcohol in your system is over the prescribed limit.

“In charge” is not defined in the legislation however case law suggests that the Court will consider the following when deciding if you were in charge of the vehicle:

  • Where you were sitting in the vehicle
  • What you were doing
  • Where the keys to the vehicle were
  • Whether there was any evidence you were intending to drive the vehicle

Sentencing for drunk in charge of a motor vehicle

  • Custodial sentence for a maximum of 3 months, Community penalty or a maximum fine of £2,500
  • Must endorse driving licence with 10 penalty points, may disqualify.

General information

Defences to this charge can be:

  • You had no intention to drive the vehicle whilst over the prescribed limit
  • The procedure for obtaining your sample was not complied with
  • You were not in charge of the vehicle

If you can prove that you had no intention of driving the vehicle until you were fit to do so then this is a defence. In cases like this it is essential to obtain an experts report and there will often be a police station interview regarding theses matters.

We will be able to assist in obtiang the expert report and presenting your case to court. Most commonly people are charged with this offence when they are found asleep in the car and keeping warm until morning. The key aspects of any case is that you would only have driven when you were for and this is why the experts report is required.