Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

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Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

Post: # 269645Post Milims
Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:33 pm

Does anyone know the UK legislation, or where to find it, concerning the serving of alcohol by bar staff and someone driving their vehicle afterwards?
I ask because tonight I took keys from a very drunk someone's ignition, who strongly objected when I refused to give them back. He was very angry and I just want to know if I was within the law to do so - especially as I was the one who served him before I knew he was intending to drive. (He was already drunk when I arrived on shift and I thought he was walking home as he lives quite close to the pub) The thing is I don't think my boss is very happy with me because he came back into the premises threatening to do damage.
As far as I'm concerned I did the right thing morally - especially as he is my friends son, I just want to know if I have legan back up if the sh1t hits the fan!
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Re: Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

Post: # 269646Post Zech
Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:49 am

Technically, it's illegal to serve alcohol to anyone who's intoxicated, whether they're intending to drive or not (and if you didn't know that, your boss is to blame!) I think the fact that you sold him the alcohol would probably be irrelevant to the fact you took his keys. I'm not sure what the legal position is, but I can't imagine anyone in their right minds thinking that you did the wrong thing there.

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Re: Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

Post: # 269650Post big brew ejit
Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:52 am

You took reasonable steps to prevent a crime which could easily have resulted in serious injury or loss of life. If you do it again with an arsey punter just call the police to inform them of what you did.
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Re: Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

Post: # 269651Post marshlander
Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:05 am

Agree with all the above. He could have been arrested for just being in the car with his keys, let alone in the ignition.
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Re: Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

Post: # 269656Post oldjerry
Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:18 am

When he sobers up,he should realise you did him a favour,if not he's a jerk.Your boss should know the thing about serving someone who's hammered,it's a legal thing.Threatening behaviour is also illegal,I would expect your boss to back you up 100% unequivocally, and your friend owes you a big thankyou.

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Re: Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

Post: # 269657Post The Riff-Raff Element
Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:40 am

I have no idea whether or not you have the legal right to confiscate keys or not, but I would say that morally you are absolutely in the right. Had you let him drive off and kill either himself or someone else no-one would be leaping to your defence, so they should be supporting you for preventing it happening. Your boss should remember that his licence is a privilege not a right and both he and the punter should be thanking you for keeping the pair of them out of the sh1t.

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Re: Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

Post: # 269660Post Uller
Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:37 am

Many years ago a friend got very drunk at a party, as he often did. He decided not to stay the night as originally planned and to drive home. We tried to take the keys from him but he got quite aggressive - he promised to sleep it off in his car and not drive and stupidly we believed him.

Of course, a few minutes later, we heard him drive off. We were really worried about him being on the road - angry enough to say that we didn't care about what he did to himself, but worried about what he could do to someone else - so reported him to the police and, as he lived in a barracks town, the military police.

He wasn't picked up by the police, but got home safely and passed out at the bottom of his stairs. A couple of days later the local paper had pictures of the aftermath of a car accident that had happened on the road he had driven, only minutes after he had driven along it. A drunk driver had killed a young couple he vaguely knew and he realised that it could have been him.

He forgave us for calling the police (he had been furious when we told him) and I never saw him drink alcohol again if he was driving, not even one drink.

A bit off subject, but once he had sobered up, he realised the consequences of what had seemed perfectly reasonable when drunk - hopefully your friend's son will also see sense. And if your boss doesn't have the guts to take a similar stand when necessary, he probably shouldn't be in the business he's in.
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Re: Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

Post: # 269661Post MKG
Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:55 am

On a miniscule, teeny-weeny, nitpicking basis, you were in possibly illegal possession of someone else's property. In overwhelmingly practical and common-sense (as well as legal) terms, you acted to prevent the commission of a crime - a perfectly legal act and one which would be commended by any court. Your boss is being totally unreasonable if he blames you for the actions of someone "in drink" as the law so picturesquely puts it.

Ah - north-east - I forgot. Under the Regulation (NE) Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Environs Special Exemption, the "Whey man, he were ernly gannin oot for a canny tame, man marra" clause may come into operation. Or not.


EDIT: A good example here ...

http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/08/16/ ... -car-keys/

EDIT2: I've just been trawling through stuff on pubs. The critical point is "drunk" although "drunk" is not defined in any practical way. Basically, if you're serving alcohol, it's your call - do you or do you not serve another drink? Your decision is the defining point - if you say yes, then that's OK as long as the customer was able to stand up, talk and breathe. If you say no, then that's your prerogative whether the customer is stone-cold sober or drunk as a lord. You are not expected to be clairvoyant or to assess precise levels of blood alcohol. When it became obvious that the customer was intending to drive, you would have been correct to take the keys if he'd had more than, say, two pints of beer - certainly not drunk, but not fit to drive. You're on faultless ground.
Last edited by MKG on Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

Post: # 269662Post diggernotdreamer
Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:49 pm

There was a case here in Ireland just this year, an English man died from drinking too much alcohol and the manager and the barman were taken to court for manslaughter. They were acquited, but the stress this must have caused themselves and their families must have been awful. Your boss should stand by you, you made a call after assessing the situation, if he came back in threatening damage, your boss could have called the police to sort out the situation. As for taking the keys away, is there not a crime called aiding and abetting, if you knowingly allowed a crime to be commited and did nothing to prevent it happening. I don't believe if the police were called in there would be any case to answer and if anything, his parents should be thanking you for maybe saving his life or other peoples lives that he may have wiped out due to his drunken stupidity.

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Re: Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

Post: # 288042Post Loren34
Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:49 am

Yeah I have heard about that case in Ireland. If you ask me, why barmen are at fault for this? My brother works with a Los Angeles DUI attorney in USA and was telling me that barmen there are shielded somewhat from these kind of things as people are held accountable for their deeds.

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Re: Legislation concerning bar staff and drink driving

Post: # 288043Post Odsox
Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:50 am

I have removed the embedded web link in your post as this looks to me like a blatant advert for a US attorney.
If you really want to post on our forum then please read our minimal rules which mention about not posting links until you have made 25 posts.
As this is your first post and the fact that you were reported as a spammer last year, I suspect that you are not really that interested in becoming a genuine member. However if you really are interested then I apologise and welcome you to out forum.

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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