Propulsion and direction, while drinking

Great talk back article on ABC local radio last week about the issue of enjoying a 5 o’clock beverage in the back of your motorhome and whether you can be fined by the police for such activities.

So we all know that you are in trouble if you are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 or more. However, how does this apply to the situation of a motorhome where you are enjoying the comforts of the living quarters, and have no plans to actually drive the vehicle.

So the legal advice from the radio segment is based around the statement of whether you are in charge of the means of propulsion and and direction of the vehicle.

Most of the time this is tested by having the keys on your person, or in the ignition of the vehicle. In a normal vehicle, even if you are in the passenger seat, if you either have the keys on you, or in the ignition, while having a BAL of 0.05+, you can be fined.

If your motorhome cabin is a walk though type option, it is hard to see the difference whether you are in the passenger seat or the living quarters in this regard. An additional complication is if your driver’s seat swivels around.

The short answer is – keep the keys as far away as possible (e.g. in locked glove box), and have the vehicle parked in such a way that it is not possible to drive-off – e.g. chocks/blocks, silver sunscreen on windscreen.