Motorcycle legal advice: Can I be ‘nicked’ for drink-driving on private property?



Q: I work at a pub and after work I usually stop for a cheeky pint or two with the locals after hours. Unfortunately, I fell out with one of them and gave him a slap. I think he grassed me up to the Police because as I hopped on my bike to leave the car park, a police car blocked my path.

I got nicked for drink-driving as I blew 130 micrograms in the car park – and that’s the point; I never made it to the road. If I had done, I reckon they would have had me bang to rights, but they mucked up. My defence is that I was on private property, not a public road. What do you reckon?

A: A level of 130 micrograms puts you in the highest bracket of the Magistrates’ Sentencing Guidelines. If found guilty, the starting point for the Court is sentencing you to 12 weeks’ custody, a driving disqualification of 29-36 months, plus costs and a fine. There is well established law on this point.

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In simple terms, if the car park is a ‘public place’ and you’re riding across it, you’re drink driving. Don’t waste the Court’s time and annoy them running this as a defence; put your hands up and try to get the most lenient sentence possible. As you could get banged up, you may qualify for Legal Aid. If not, spend some money on legal representation. It may prevent a holiday at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.

White Dalton Solicitors is Britain’s most specialist motorcycle law practice. Managing partner Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast and his bike riding barristers compile Motor Cycle Monthly’s legal column very month, offering our readers essential motorcycle legal advice.


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