Universally, drinking and driving do not go hand in hand, and it is completely unacceptable and a legal offence to drive when drunk.
We all are well aware of the consequences of getting behind the wheel when under the influence. It does not only have serious legal implications but can also result in a grave accident that may cause serious injuries or even death.
While the law is clearly defined for vehicles like cars, motorbikes, etc., motorhome owners may assume an exception in this regard based on the premise that they are practically in a house on wheels.
Motorhomes offer owners the flexibility of having a vehicle with accommodations in one place. You can easily travel on the road while enjoying the facilities a small house can offer.
However, if you are a law-abiding citizen, you must ensure that you adhere to all the rules and regulations outlined for motorhomes when on the road and otherwise.
In this section, we have addressed the question that many motorhome owners wonder about; whether you can drink alcohol in a motorhome or not.
Motorhomes are not like regular vehicular traffic, and if you are travelling in one, you are most likely on the road for multiple days at a stretch, even weeks, depending on the nature of your travel. So, naturally, you would be tempted to have a drink or two during that time.
It is why it is important to have clarifications in this regard and how you can manage to drink when you are in your motorhome.
What Does The Law Say About Alcohol Consumption And Driving?
In the UK, driving laws are quite stringent and strictly enforced. Anyone found drunk while driving is subjected to grave consequences when convicted.
Drunk drivers not only put their lives at risk but are a menace on the road, endangering the lives of others.
Every year, hundreds of people are killed, thousands are injured, and property worth millions is damaged just because a drunk driver chose to be out on the road under the influence, drove over the speed limit, or whirled their vehicle out of control.
Two main offences that come in this category include (A) driving or attempting to drive with excessive alcohol and exceeding the speed limit and (B) being in charge of a motor vehicle with excessive alcohol and exceeding the speed limit.
Thus, if you are drunk and driving a vehicle, regardless of the type of vehicle, your offence will fall under category A. In the case of motorhome owners, it is also category B that can cause a problem.
If you are drunk and in charge of a motor vehicle when on the road or in a public place, your offence is similar to drunk driving.
As per the law, if you are found to be unfit for driving due to drinking and are in charge of a vehicle, you might end up with a three months sentence, a hefty fine of up to £2500, and in some cases, a driving ban as well.
Similarly, if you are driving or trying to drive while being unfit due to drinking, you could end up with a six months imprisonment sentence, a huge fine, and a one-year driving ban. Suddenly drinking in your motorhome does not sound that appealing, does it?
If you are still apprehensive about rules regarding drinking in your motorhome, you can always contact your motorhome insurance provider for clarification on the matter. To clarify further, we have addressed a few pertinent points in this regard.
Can I Drink If The Motorhome Is Not Moving?
By now, we have established that drinking and driving are a big no-no. However, while that is a serious offence, what about when you camp for a few days and want to enjoy a drink? You are not planning to drive anywhere for a few days, so you might wonder if there is any harm in enjoying a little drink.
What makes this issue complex is that while a motorhome is like a home, it is a vehicle at the same time. So while driving when drunk is an offence, so is being in charge of a vehicle when drunk.
To address this, let’s address the concept of a public place. A highway is a public place, so if you are on it, whether you are driving or parked, you are in a public place, and it makes sense to hold off drinking for that duration.
Moreover, if you have been drinking in your motorhome and your vehicle is causing an obstruction, you may be asked to move it. However, since you are drunk, you cannot drive. This would be a tricky situation.
Besides the highway, there are various other places where you might consider camping for the night, but they might qualify as public place. Wherever the public has access is categorized as a public place, and you might want to practice caution.
It would also help to infer the meaning of a vehicle in charge, with particular reference to motorhomes. It is a technically ambiguous term, and the lack of information may put you in trouble.
If you are in a motorhome and under the influence, there could be two scenarios.
You are in the driver’s seat with the key in the ignition; it might appear as if you are ready to drive off.
You are in your night suit, with the motorhome key put away safely in a drawer or cabinet; it would appear as if you are not planning to drive away any time soon.
If you are in situation (a) and asked for a breath specimen, you are in serious trouble.
However, if you are in scenario (b) and asked for a breath specimen, there is a chance the authorities may leave you alone on the assumption that you were not planning to drive when drunk. Even if you are called in to explain to a magistrate, if your intention not to drive is explicit, you may be exempted.
Remember, even a pub’s car park is considered a public place. However, if you are staying at a private campsite, you can have a drink or two at night before turning in for the day.
Can I Sleep In A Motorhome When Drunk?
If you are planning to turn in for the day and have drunk just before, you can sleep in your motorhome, provided you have parked in a safe place, have put the keys away, and have no intention of driving when under.
Hare a few measures you can take to ensure you are not penalized for drinking in your motorhome.
Before you start drinking, make sure you have parked for the night and won’t be driving even for a short distance. So, make sure you are parked in the right place and not causing an obstruction so that you are not asked to move.
You must also make it evident that you plan to stay and intend to sleep overnight in the motorhome. For instance, you could use a steering lock, cover the windows with a silver screen, etc.
Place your keys in a safe place away from the ignition. Once you have consumed alcohol, do not use the key in the ignition to charge the batteries, and do not sit behind the steering wheel.
If you want further information about rules regarding drinking and sleeping in your motorhome, you can always contact your motorhome insurance provider for clarification on the matter.