Author Topic: Drink Driving - what would you do?  (Read 625 times)

Drink Driving - what would you do?
« on: 23 May, 2022, 02:43:32 pm »
Some years ago whilst out on my bike, a van suddenly passed me and then stopped about 100 - 200m further along the road and right in the middle of the road with the white lines clearly visible under the van.  As I approached I had to make a decision to either pass on the nearside or the offside of the van.  I chose the offside and as I did so, the driver was making some 'sign language' with his fingers towards me.  I decided to stop and investigate.  As I walked back to the van, the driver opened his door and almost fell out.  I could tell that he was drunk which was shortly confirmed by the smell of his breath.

The engine was still running and I quickly reached into the vehicle and removed the keys from the ignition.  The driver immediately protested but was clearly not in any state to do much else.  I then put a few metres between himself and myself and phoned the police who arrived within a few minutes.  The driver was arrested and taken away.  A second police car then arrived and I was required to give a statement after which I was warned about taking the keys from the vehicle.  Apparently it is classed as attempted theft.

In my defence, I made it clear that the driver could so easily have driven away and killed someone and I would then have to live with that knowing that I could have made a difference.  I would have been happy to have been charged and had my day in Court, however that did not happen.

Would I do the same again?  Yes most definitely but what would you do?

Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #1 on: 23 May, 2022, 03:06:22 pm »
I think it didn't go to court because the police knew they would not get a conviction.

Kim

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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #2 on: 23 May, 2022, 03:16:07 pm »
If I were brave enough to get that close, I'd probably do the same thing.

Paul

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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #3 on: 23 May, 2022, 03:27:02 pm »
A second police car then arrived and I was required to give a statement after which I was warned about taking the keys from the vehicle.  Apparently it is classed as attempted theft.
What rubbish. Theft of what? The keys?

Where's the "intention permanently to deprive"?

Complete cobblers.
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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #4 on: 23 May, 2022, 03:40:01 pm »
...I was required to give a statement after which I was warned about taking the keys from the vehicle.  Apparently it is classed as attempted theft.
...

Very unlikely to have gone to court, and AFAIUI & IANAL but there is in any event a common law defence of duress and necessity...

Quote
   
Was the Defendant impelled to act because, as a result of what he reasonably believed the coercer had said or done, he had a good cause to fear death or serious injury?
Have the prosecution proven that a sober person of reasonable firmness, sharing the Defendant’s characteristics, would not have responded in the same way?

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/defences-duress-and-necessity

ETA.   Also:

From S3 Criminal Law Act 1967 (part):

Quote
"A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large."
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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #5 on: 23 May, 2022, 03:42:26 pm »
Well done.  Like Paul, I don't see how that can be theft since your intention wasn't to permanently deprive.

But police aren't lawyers.  I think their job is more to apply enough force on the ground to get things under control and then let the courts sort out the details afterwards.  There are flaws in that; they're going to get some stuff wrong.  But in this instance they got the basics right, perhaps misinformed you on one point, and the system did the right thing by not even attempting to charge you afterwards. 

Perhaps a polite clarification later would have been good?

Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #6 on: 23 May, 2022, 04:45:28 pm »
Just to make it clear.

I was never charged with any offence just warned about taking the keys.

Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #7 on: 23 May, 2022, 04:55:03 pm »
But police aren't lawyers


I think their job is more to apply enough force on the ground to get things under control and then let the courts sort out the details afterwards.  There are flaws in that; they're going to get some stuff wrong

Perhaps a polite clarification later would have been good?
All of the above could have been in bold.

Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #8 on: 23 May, 2022, 05:02:07 pm »
I think it didn't go to court because the police knew they would not get a conviction.

It didn't go to court because they didn't arrest him for it, or charge him. They advised him it could be an offence.

Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #9 on: 23 May, 2022, 05:53:28 pm »
IANAL but taking the keys sounds like reasonable force to me.
If I'm on the jury you can throw them into the nettles in the entrance to a bear's cave and ride off, and I'll still vote not guilty.

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cygnet

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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #10 on: 23 May, 2022, 08:05:10 pm »
Noting that it was some years ago, (so reposnse times may have varied in the meantime): If you hadn't taken the keys, do you think the police would still have turned up in a few minutes (after he'd driven off)?

Me - can't say. If I could without putting myself in danger for the period it took for aid to arrive then I hope I would.
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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #11 on: 23 May, 2022, 09:00:48 pm »
I had a friend snatch keys from a drunk and aggressive driver and chuck them over the high security fence at Manchester Airport, said driver got no sympathy from the local police, the judge commended him for potentially saving lives. Driver got 2 year ban as it was repeat offence.

citoyen

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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #12 on: 23 May, 2022, 11:28:27 pm »
Rupert, you did exactly the right thing. Well done.

Don’t know if I would have done the same - might depend just how drunk and aggressive the driver was…
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Gattopardo

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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #13 on: 24 May, 2022, 01:14:29 am »
A second police car then arrived and I was required to give a statement after which I was warned about taking the keys from the vehicle.  Apparently it is classed as attempted theft.




Policeman do not know the Law shocker.

You did the right thing.

Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #14 on: 24 May, 2022, 04:44:26 am »
I wonder if you snatch a weapon from someone threatening people if that is viewed as attempted theft as well?

A

Mr Larrington

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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #15 on: 24 May, 2022, 08:55:21 am »
Or if you grab a narwhal tusk off the wall of the Fishmongers' Hall and use it to subdue a potential suicide bomber.

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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #16 on: 24 May, 2022, 09:13:06 am »
I wonder if you snatch a weapon from someone threatening people if that is viewed as attempted theft as well?

A

No. You'd probably be charged with possession of an offensive weapon.   ;)
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Mr Larrington

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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #17 on: 24 May, 2022, 09:22:15 am »
IIRC that has actually happened to people who discovered Grandad's war souvenirs in the Sheds and innocently trotted down to the police station to hand them in instead of getting the Bill to send a team of brutish firearms officers to take them away and, optionally, smash their house up.
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Re: Drink Driving - what would you do?
« Reply #18 on: 24 May, 2022, 10:14:26 am »
I'd like to think I would have done exactly the same as you. Well done.
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