Driving lessons NW6 101: After an alcoholic drink you should avoid driving, and it’s safer to just sleep inside your car rather than risking yourself driving home. Even if you think you’re still able to drive at the moment, it would still come with a more risk of being convicted of “Drink Driving” if authorities will stop you on the road.
If you’re convicted of “Drunk in Charge” of a motor vehicle because you were caught sleeping inside your car after an alcoholic drink, it does not in any way incur serious penalties compared when you’re caught of “Drink Driving.” So, it has been said as “Lesser Evil” so it’s the sensible choice to just stay and sleep inside your car.
However, penalties still have the potential of being severe if you sleep inside your car, so if it’s possible you better leave your vehicle well-alone and look either elsewhere to sleep or you may take a taxi home. In this decision, you’ll be saved from serious penalties such as you being banned forever from driving a vehicle.
If you have no other option but to sleep inside your car to avoid “Drink Driving” offence, you can take precautions to minimise a potential “Drunk in Charge” penalty. If the police will deem you as a potential risk to other road users, you will be taken to the police station and will be issued with a court summon. Then the court will look into the factors to assess the risk you posed:
(1.) Where you were seated? When you’re found sleeping in the driving seat, it suggests that you pose a higher risk of driving compared to being found on the rear seat.
(2.) What you were doing? Don’t be tempted to take alcoholic drink with you inside your car if you intend to sleep inside your vehicle. Because it would look far more risky if the police could find cans or bottles of alcoholic drinks in your car, whether they’re empty or full.
(3.) Where were the car keys? If the car keys are found by the police in the ignition whilst you were sleeping inside your vehicle, you will face a much higher chance of being prosecuted for “Drunk in Charge.” You should shut the keys out of the ignition or put it at the glove compartment.
Such circumstances listed above will provide the court and the police of an indication of whether you intended to drive the vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol or just intend to sleep inside your car. If you were seen to be over the alcohol limit, the court and the police may also take into account if you may remain over the limit when you wake up and intend on driving ahead.
If the court will find you guilty of “Drunk in Charge,” it’s possible that you can receive a driving ban although this is not mandatory and within the discretion of the court. There will be 10 penalty points to be issued along with a fine. The worse if points have already been existing on your driving licence, then it will be revoked if it has already gained 12 points or more.