Some of you may already be familiar with the offences of Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) and driving with prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA). Did you know that there are other alcohol related traffic offences?
It is a crime under Section 49B of the Road Safety Act of 1986 to consume intoxicating liquor while you are actually driving a motor vehicle or while you are in charge of a motor vehicle. You may be considered ‘in charge of a motor vehicle’ when you are the fully licensed driver accompanying a driver with only a learner’s permit.
You are also considered ‘in charge of a motor vehicle’ if you are the driving a car that is being towed by another vehicle. You are considered as ‘driving’ a motor vehicle even if you simply attempt to start a car even while you are still parked in a parking lot.
This only means that you and your buddies can’t drive to a 24-hour convenience store, buy some booze, and drink the booze while parked in the parking lot of the convenience store. If any of you are seated in the car with the ignition turned on so that you can turn the radio on, you can be charged with drinking intoxicating liquor while driving.
If you are a fully licenced driver accompanying a student driver and you are seated in the passenger seat while the student driver is driving, you cannot drink while accompanying the student driver.
Even if you do not have control of the steering wheel, since you are the fully licensed driver, the Road Safety Act 1986 considers you to be ‘in charge’ of the motor vehible. Therefore, if you drink while being ‘in charge’ of the motor vehicle, you can be charged under Section 49C of the same law.
The penalty for these alcohol related driving offences is cancellation of the driver’s licence or disqualification of the offender from obtaining a driver’s license for not more than six months. This means that the driver, driving instructor or the accompanying driver may not be able to renew their driving license and driving instructor authority. This means that the driving instructor cannot be employed during the period of suspension, disqualification or cancellation of his license.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.