Snooze You Lose

Sun 29th Dec 2019

Road safety campaigners are warning that a quick kip in your car this New Year’s Eve could be way more costly than getting the taxi home.
While the majority of revellers will take the sensible option and make alternative travel arrangements for New Year’s Eve, there is a small percentage of the population which may decide to drive and then sleep off the effects of partying in their car before driving home.

And ahead of the big night IAM RoadSmart is warning that under the Road Traffic Act 1988 the police may hit you with a £2,500 fine if they believe you are in charge of the vehicle.

Peter Rodger, IAM RoadSmart head of driver advice, said: "The legal issue is whether there is any likelihood that you might drive.

"Certainly having or not having the keys in the vehicle would help prove one way or the other, but it may not be conclusive in itself - each case would be judged on its individual circumstances.

"If the keys were still available to the driver, albeit outside the car, would be an easy example to pose where conviction could still arise, as is the case of some vehicles which don't have ignition keys.

"Having or (more especially) not having the keys is a factor but not always conclusive.

"Whilst a useful rule of thumb is: ‘If you're drunk in the car and you have the keys you are going to be convicted’ the keys aren't really the main point.

"Simple and straightforward advice has always been and remains: don't sleep it off in the car."