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Dave Beans

Getting Done For Drink Driving After Sleeping In Your Car After Getting Smashed

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2059879/BT-advert-actor-Kris-Marshall-banned-driving-6-months.html?ITO=1490

Comedy actor Kris Marshall has been banned from driving for six months after he admitted dodging a breath test. Police found the 38-year-old asleep in his Jaguar in a Tesco car park near his home following a night out drinking. He was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in charge of a vehicle after police spotted a key in the car's ignition.

But Marshall – known for his roles in sitcom My Family and the BT adverts – thought he was being responsible by sleeping in the car rather than driving home and was annoyed at being arrested, magistrates heard. He decided to 'avoid giving a specimen' and failed to seal his lips properly around a breathalyser during an 'official' test at a police station.

Five breath test readings taken beforehand ranged from 56 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath to 67 micrograms – nearly twice the limit. Yesterday at South Somerset Magistrates Court, Marshall pleaded guilty to failing to supply a specimen of breath on September 30. Chairman of the bench, Geoff West, said: 'We can understand how it must have annoyed you that evening. Like your lawyer said, it was your only mistake (to not give a sample).

'Nevertheless you have learned a valuable lesson.

'You have got more than 12 points which means an automatic six month disqualification. This means you cannot drive a motor vehicle in any road or public place at all until the period ends.

'If you do drive then you have committed a serious offence and could be sent to prison or disqualified again.'

Marshall was banned for six months after the court heard he had also been caught on a mobile at the wheel and already had three points on his licence for speeding.

The court heard that Marshall, who lives in Long Barton near Wells, Somerset, with his self-employed plumber girlfriend, had been in London doing voiceover work on September 30 this year. He had returned on the train to Castle Cary station - after consuming a gin and tonic on the journey back - before picking up his green Jaguar and driving to Wells.

The actor then left his car in the car park and went to a bar for more drinks. He returned before midnight but decided not to drive the short distance back to his village. Tim Rutherford, prosecuting, said: 'Police were called to Tesco in Wells following reports of a possible drunk driver.

'At 12.04am PC Reynolds attended the scene and saw a green Jaguar. He approached the vehicle and saw a male by the name of Kris Marshall sat in the drivers seat.

'The seat was reclined he and appeared to be asleep at that point.

'The officer noticed the keys still in the ignition, noticed a smell of alcohol. He woke him and said have you been drinking - he said "Yes I have".

'His eyes were glazed.'

Police carried out a positive breath test on a co-operative Marshall before arresting him and taking him to Yeovil Police Station an hour's drive away. The court heard that when he arrived at the station he decided to 'effectively avoid giving a specimen'.

Mr Rutherford said: 'It appears Mr Marshall failed to seal his lips around the tube.'

Marshall told officers he did not have any medical reason not to take the test - apart from mild asthma. Richard Hallam, defending Marshall, stressed that his client had made the sensible decision not to drive back home as he was over the limit. He told the court that Marshall did not want to leave his car to get a taxi or walk home - because it would mean going through a large unlit wood. Mr Hallam said his client had been co-operating with the police right up until they arrested him. He said: 'The truth of the matter is that he felt a little aggrieved at being arrested.

'He felt he had made a responsible decision in not driving while over the limit. He made a decision to sleep in the vehicle.

'Many members of the public do not understand the charge of being drunk in charge of a vehicle.

'He was a little fed up. He accepts that it was in his mind to affectively avoid giving a specimen.

'I have told him that was a mistake.'

The court heard that Marshall, who already had three points on his license for a speeding offence, had recently been spotted on the phone while at the wheel. His lawyer told the court that he had surrendered his license to the police and was awaiting another three points. Marshall was given another ten points by magistrates for failing to provide a sample - resulting in more than 12 points on his license and an automatic ban.

They also fined him £700 and £100 costs.

The actor, who found fame as Nick Harper in the hit BBC series My Family and hit the big screen in the 2003 Richard Curtis hit Love Actually, made no comment when leaving court after his conviction. Originally from Malmesbury, Wiltshire, he studied at Wells Cathedral School and, after failing his A-levels, attended drama school.

Bloke who does crap BT ads got done after kipping in his car, after deciding not to drive. He then failed to give a specimen on the big machine in the cop shop, which would have nailed him. So you can get done if you even if you have the keys on you? I wonder if he'd have got a 12 month ban if he had given a specimen? Most likely...

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Bloke who does crap BT ads got done after kipping in his car, after deciding not to drive. He then failed to give a specimen on the big machine in the cop shop, which would have nailed him. So you can get done if you even if you have the keys on you? I wonder if he'd have got a 12 month ban if he had given a specimen? Most likely...

No. You can't get done if you have the keys on you.

However, if the keys are in the ignition, then you are, in effect, "in control" of the car - and there is extensive case law that confirms that this will be treated as drunk driving.

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Actually if you have the keys on you, then you are deemed to be in control of the car, whether the keys are in the ignition or not. Friend got done for sleeping in the back of his car while drunk after an argument with the wife, he had the keys in his pocket.

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So the charge is not providing a breat test while at the police station. If he had, surely would be found not guilty as he wasn't driving and was on private property. As for keys in the ignition, so what... was the engine on? Nope.

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Actually if you have the keys on you, then you are deemed to be in control of the car, whether the keys are in the ignition or not. Friend got done for sleeping in the back of his car while drunk after an argument with the wife, he had the keys in his pocket.

Makes sense (although the law in itself is questionable), alot of cars now don't even have an ignition that you put a key in.

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So, let me get straight. Even if you are asleep in a motor home you can get done?

A friend of mine has a motor home and most weekends he likes to go clubbing with his wife - parks up in a street somewhere and goes get hammered.

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That chap got done on private land too.. If thats the case then, what's the difference between a car park and a camp site?

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Not really much difference between this and being drunk at home with car on drive way.

The Police should have better things to do. Mind you Tesco could have charged him more than the fine for parking!

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So, let me get straight. Even if you are asleep in a motor home you can get done?

A friend of mine has a motor home and most weekends he likes to go clubbing with his wife - parks up in a street somewhere and goes get hammered.

There may be some kind of exclusion for motorhomes / camper vans, etc. otherwise, just about anyone who owns one and has a tipple will be falling foul of the drink drive legislation.

I was under the impression that just having the keys on your and being near the vehicle was enough to be classed as being "in charge".

More info here:

http://www.drinkdrivinglaw.co.uk/offences/in_charge_of_a_vehicle_with_excess_alcohol.htm

"It is for the Defendant to prove that there is no prospect of using the vehicle." :ph34r:

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A question often discussed on trucking forums. The relevant part of the legislation is this.

TD 95

S4 (3) For the purposes of subsection (2) above, a person shall be deemed not to have been in charge of a motor vehicle if he proves that at the material time the circumstances were such that there was no likelihood of his driving it so long as he remained unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

S5 (2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1)(B) above to prove that at the time he is alleged to have committed the offence the circumstances were such that there was no likelihood of his driving the vehicle whilst the proportion of alcohol in his breath, blood or urine remained likely to exceed the prescribed limit.

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Another great piece of guilty until proven innocent legislation.

How can you prove you didn't intend to drive the vehicle? I guess with a truck parked up the driver is stopped due to regulations on maximum time driving, so would not be able to continue to drive legally anyway, if your motorhome was parked on a campsite you would likely be able to say that since you'd paid for a night and were hooked up to the power, etc. you were staying put... but parked on the street, maybe not so easy.

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This applies to drinking, getting a taxi home and then driving to work the next day.

I know.

Do they breathalise people at all accident scenes?

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I guess with a truck parked up the driver is stopped due to regulations on maximum time driving, so would not be able to continue to drive legally anyway,

Yes, out of legal driving hours, card removed from tachograph, parked outside factory where delivering in the morning and with supporting paperwork are all perfectly sound defences.

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<br />I know.<br /><br />Do they breathalise people at all accident scenes?<br />
<br /><br /><br />

Yes.

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So parked on private property is irrelevant?

Seems odd to penalise people for not drink driving, and instead being responsible.

It's treated as a public place if the public have access to it, I believe.

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Misleading story as usual.

Done for drunk in charge, yes.

Banned for it, no. He was banned on cumulative weight of evidence of irresponsible driving: this was just a last straw.

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Yes, out of legal driving hours, card removed from tachograph, parked outside factory where delivering in the morning and with supporting paperwork are all perfectly sound defences.

Not going to help people in camper vans and motorhomes though.

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I believe 70% of breath test failures at this time of year are before 11am....

Can you imagine, getting up late for work with a bad hangover and then getting stopped and failing a breathalyser test. What starts off as a bad day gets worse and worse.

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People driving tired cause far more accidents than drink drivers IMO.

Not saying drink drivers are good of course.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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