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Drink Driving / Sleeping in your car

Discussion in 'Kombi Club' started by Dingostrategy, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Drink Driving / Sleeping in your Kombi

    Dear all,

    Something mentioned in another thread made me think about this law.

    But why couldn't Mr. Housing just suggest a snooze in the back of the Kombi?

    I have heard that you are not allowed to sleep in your car if you are over the limit. This seems relevant to Kombi drivers, to me.

    The Western Australian Law seems quite clear that you must be 'attempting' to drive.

    This helpful yahoo answer thing implies that attempting has been tested and is taken to mean starting the engine or similar.

    However, 'I've heard' - i.e. it might be an urban myth, that you are not allowed to do this. Maybe it's Victorian?

    Looks like the Victorian Act specifies that you have to be 'in charge of a motor vehicle'. I believe this is the distinction - in charge might mean you are in it, with the keys.

    In NSW, I just couldn't even find the clause in the acts.

    And in QLD, again you're in luck, because you seem to have to attempt to put the vehicle in motion

    The Tasmanian Act, the simplest of the lot, is clear. You have to be 'driving'.

    SA seems to have the same provision as QLD.

    The territories have different provisions and its trickier to find them in 2 minutes.

    So it seems the Victorians are not able to snooze in the back of the Kombi, but other drivers can.

    Rather than confirming these interpretations by examining the case law, do you have any experience, stories, links that might help clear this up, or at least offer some direction?

    Cheers,

    Wes
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  2. Van Housing

    Van Housing Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,434
    Location:
    Yarraville Vic
    I have indeed heard of people getting booked in such a way - so hide the keys well away if you are going to sleep in your kombi after a big night on the turps. I even once had a friend booked while pushing his motorbike home (ironically, if he had driven it home he probably wouldn't have been noticed!).

    My main concern, though, is the effect of alcohol when drunk - I have had many friends who have planned to stay at my house, or sleep in their car, but changed their mind and driven home once drunk.... the easiest way to prevent being tempted to drive is to ensure you leave your car at home.

    The fine you receive for drink-driving is likely to be much greater than the combined cost of taxis home - not to mention the expense derived from the driving-ban (which will necessitate alternative transport even when you are not drinking!)

    It simply isn't worth drink-driving - and that is without even considering the great danger to everyone else! (not only is it incredibly selfish, but culpable driving will lead to jail...)

    There is nothing wrong though with being drunk! (unless you are a glass of water...) :)
     
  3. back street bessie

    back street bessie Active Member

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    Kangaroo Point 4169
  4. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    I agree entirely with Woz. Just seems to me, Victorians are encouraged to drink drive rather than sleeping in the car. Seems counter intuitive.

    Indigo, by my reading, even if you do sleep in the front, with the keys, the burden of proof remains with the prosecutor to determine that you were 'in charge'. Still, better off in the back for sure.
     
  5. Kombi Dad

    Kombi Dad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,457
    Location:
    Bungendore, NSW
    Never had any issues but then I doubt if the local Mr Plod would consider you were trying to drive if you have all the curtains drawn and the pop top raised. Keys are never in the ignition.
     
  6. kommodius

    kommodius Active Member

    The Victorian law is just dumb!

    Picture yourself, parked up camping in the Dandenongs. Out like a light under the poptop after sinking a few bevvies after dinner and you're liable to get pinged for DUI!
    Mad.

    Ray & da Boyz
     
  7. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Damn right kommodius.

    Kombidad is also right, but Mrs. Plod sees it differently.
     
  8. Volksaddict

    Volksaddict Member

    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    Sawtell mid northcoast NSW
    Moral to the story ...hide your keys ..if they are in the ignition your in strife
     
  9. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

    I had a friend in SA got done for sleeping in the pub car park at Strathalbyn, in the back of a station wagon, with the keys in his pocket. DUI!!!
    Having said that, I have parked across the road by the park several times and crashed in the kombi with no problem, not sure about the actual laws, but I have certainly risked it, I reckon if you went to court, sleeping in the back of a campervan with a few bevvies behind you would only serve the prosecuters to look ridiculous!
     
  10. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Seems to me, Rocky, there is some murkiness in the act.

    I can't find any case law in the District courts. That may or may not mean the contests don't get past the Magistrate and to a J&J. Even if it does mean that, it could either be because these cases are always or never dismissed. Meaning we have no idea if we can get p-ssed and pass out in Campervans.

    The law's an ass.
     
  11. Van Housing

    Van Housing Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,434
    Location:
    Yarraville Vic
    I doubt any elected government would want to be seen to be *diluting* drink-driving laws, even if to remove ambiguities. Overthrowing the political system may be the best solution, but I think hiding the keys in a cupboard would be easiest...

    BTW, I am not sure I have ever slept in my kombi without having a few drinks first...!
     
  12. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

    It is a funny one, I recall when I was studying and we had the typical study share house, we used to all throw our keys in the aquarium with the second drink of the night, just a silly rule we made up after a couple of stupid drink driving episodes. It worked a treat, no more drink driving, for some reason once drunk, the water was enough of a reminder to not go driving.

    Back on the kombi front, I can be as logical or as law abiding as you like, but if I am drunk and I know my kombi is out there with a nice comfy, familiar bed, then I will certainly go for it without a second thought.
     
  13. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    .... and anyone who thinks that's not reasonable is just a bonehead.

    But, you've confirmed my suspicion that the act says one thing and cases say another. Watch out HappyCampers.
     
  14. Marty

    Marty Active Member

    Messages:
    2,286
    Location:
    Sunny Melbourne
    I have done this quite a lot Woz, before I start drinking I make sure I close all the curtains, make the bed etc and just come back, chuck keys etc in the cupboard and go to sleep.

    That way if the police ever said something at least the keys weren't in my posession!
    Never had a problem though, as most people couldn't tell it apart from a parked car :)
     
  15. Sheriff

    Sheriff Active Member

    Messages:
    1,560
    Location:
    Warburton - Yarra Valley
    Havng been on the other end of this task a few years back ;) the rule of thumb is...once the keys are in the ignition...game on! Intervene before they start to avoid...whatever might/could happen...

    So - I always enter via the sliding door, never via the drivers door. I put the keys away and off to bed I go!

    Good luck to anyone who ever tries to book me for drink driving under thoses circumstances...you'd have to argue all the way to the high court...especially when the government keeps printing "caravan" on my rego bill!

    Booze and Snooze!

    Rich

    Oh - afterthought...dont jump out in the middle of the night to pee in public - that might be your undoing! Orange juice bottle! (NEVER...apple juice :D)
     
  16. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Should we start the 'support Sheriff's high court battle fund' now, or wait?

    "it's Mabo, it's The Constitution. It's just... the vibe of the thing.

    Good advice, Sheriff. The Victorian legislation has this tricky 'in charge of a motor vehicle' clause that makes things so tricky for us. I don't see why putting keys in the ignition magically takes one from not being in control, to in control.

    Your orange juice tip is duly noted.

    You are right to point out that you do not need to be drunk or in control of a motor vehicle to be trespassing or indecently exposed.
     
  17. kyznet

    kyznet Active Member

    Messages:
    4,671
    Location:
    Ashgrove 4060
    The law is very strange indeed. I would much rather have my kids sleeping in their car/Kombi without driving home.

    I think anyone who drinks and drives and risks hitting an innocent driver/pedestrian is the lowest form of pond scum in the world. Maybe I should put this in the "what pisses me off thread"?
     
  18. Van Housing

    Van Housing Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,434
    Location:
    Yarraville Vic
    We have caravan printed on our rego sticker, too... :D There was some confusion at Vicroads when I presented Woger, but we were in a hurry (to get to Canberra) so accepted their decision.... :lol:
     
  19. fekkinell

    fekkinell Member

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    446
    Location:
    .
    I got booked for talking on a mobile phone while driving. Even though I was stopped and in a carpark. Unfortunately according to Victorian law I should have been in an actual parking space, engine off, handbrake on. Apparently I was irresponsibly endangering the public whilst being completely stationary and using a handheld mobile device.

    I used to sleep in the van after a few drinks but now I worry that I may be irresponsibly endangering the public whilst being in charge of a motor vehicle while unconscious.

    That may sound like I'm being vindictive but losing money and points for trying to do the right thing just seems a little unfair.

    C'est la vie! (apparently)
     
  20. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,803
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Interesting reading guys, (as always), and I wasn't aware there was such a grey area in this matter...

    I'd always thought - "No keys in the ignition" would cover it.

    But now I realise you may not be totally covered, depending on which state you do it.. :cry:
     

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