A motorist recently appeared before the Cambridge magistrates court charged with drink-driving. She pleaded guilty. She was disqualified from driving for a period of three years.

This was a very unusual case with a strange outcome. The circumstances were that the woman's partner had left her and the vehicle and walked to a nearby pub. He had previously been the driver. The car was in an unsafe position on the road and the woman then decided to push the car a short distance to safety. The police arrived and she was found to be over the drink drive legal limit.

The woman was prosecuted for driving with excess alcohol and she pleaded guilty. This was a surprising decision. She did have an argument to suggest that she was not driving the vehicle. Ordinarily there would have to be a more significant aspect of control, such as braking and steering. I have represented a number of drivers prosecuted for drink-driving in similar situations and they avoid a driving disqualification.

At  worst she may have been guilty of being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle. She would have a statutory defence to this if she could show that she had not driven the car whilst over the drink drive limit and she had no intention to drive it until she was below the limit i.e. the next day.

This decision is worthy of an appeal to the Crown Court in my opinion.

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