A motorist, Mr X, was charged with being drunk in charge of his vehicle. He had no intention of driving the vehicle.

The Facts

Mr X was found asleep in his vehicle was initially accused of drink driving following a report from a member of the public. It had been reported that he had been driving down the road and demonstrated a poor standard of driving. Mr X denied having driven the vehicle at all that day.

Motorist Who Did Not Intend To Drive Found Not Guilty

The police believed they had a reasonable suspicion that he had been drink driving. This was based on the report from the public and the fact he smelt of alcohol. They requested a breath sample from him which confirmed he was over the limit. He was arrested and provided an evidential sample of breath at the police station.

The police subsequently accepted there was no evidence that he had driven. The engine was cold and he maintained that he had not driven. It appeared that his vehicle had been mistaken for another. Therefore he was charged with the lesser offence of being ‘in charge’ of a vehicle while over the limit.

The Defence

He sought advice from Lucy Whitaker who advised that he had a defence to the charge. She advised on the evidence required to corroborate his version of events for when the matter went to trial.

Mr X stated that he had attended a wedding earlier that day, was of no fixed abode and was only sleeping in his vehicle overnight. He provided evidence via a work colleague that he would have been collected the next morning to go to work. There was no likelihood of him driving while over the legal limit.

The Outcome

At the trial in Nottingham, Mr X was found to be truthful and the court found him not guilty. An expert report was also relied upon as evidence of when the alcohol in his system would have fallen below the legal limit.

Nottingham Magistrates Court acquitted him of the driving offence and granted him a Defence Costs Order. This allowed us to apply for some of his legal fees to be returned to him.



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