During the Christmas period, many motorhome owners are planning on driving to their destinations, enjoying the festivities, and then sleeping in their vehicles. However, they are now being warned that if they are not careful they could possibly still be accused of being over the legal alcohol limit and being “in charge” of their vehicle. Out and About Live has warned that it is actually easier to be charged with being drunk and “in charge” of your motorhome than many people think, so have given out some advice on how to be cautious over the holidays.
Out and About Live discussed the matter with lawyer Philip Somarakis, who works for Davenport Lyons, in order to give motorhome owners some clarity concerning the legal implications if they are found drunk and “in charge” of their vehicles. He has warned that motorhome drivers need to be cautious when drinking even if their vehicle is parked in a pub car park overnight, or any other public place for that matter. He warns that if found guilty of being intoxicated and “in charge” of the vehicle then you can be arrested by the police and even lose your license if you are convicted.
In an article written by Somarkis, it is advised that anyone who is going to be drinking and sleeping in their motorhomes overnight should make sure that they follow some simple rules so that they do not find themselves accidently breaking the law. He says that firstly, before drinking alcohol, the driver must make sure that the motorhome is already parked up for the night, and that it will not need to be moved later on in the evening. He goes on to say that drivers should make sure their motorhomes do not cause an obstruction, as after drinking it will be illegal to move it. Once in their motorhomes for the nights, drivers must never turn on the engine, put the key in the ignition, or sit in the front seat, as all of these can give police reasonable cause to think you are attempting to drive the vehicle.
If you are unsure about the rules concerning drinking and sleeping in your motorhome, make sure you contact your motorhome insurance provider, especially as if found drunk and “in charge” of your vehicle your insurance policy could become void.