Halloween specific driving offences – Trick or Treat!

It’s that time of year again, the time when haunters and howlers come out to play, killer clowns are on the loose and big kids dress up and going to parties.

Here are at Ashworth Motoring Law we have a few tips to keep you on the right side of the law this Halloween.

But what to wear?

For some, a pair of horns or a cat’s tail will do. Others however like to go the whole hog and think of more and more inventive costumes every year (and why shouldn’t you! It’s Halloween!).  A word of caution though – if you plan on getting into your carefully planned outfit before driving to the party, you must ensure that your outfit allows you a clear view of the road before you start your journey.  If not, it may be a pretty awesome costume but could land you with an unexpected award for the efforts you made.

Being caught with a white sheet over your head with two cut out holes for your eyes, or wearing any kind of mask which restricts your view of the road and traffic ahead could land you not only with some funny looks from your mates, but if caught by the ‘devils in blue’ could land you with three points on your driving licence and a fine of up to £1000 for failing to have a proper view of the road.

Under  S41 D Road Traffic Act 1988 A person who contravenes or fails to comply with a construction and use requirement—

(a)as to not driving a motor vehicle in a position which does not give proper control or a full view of the road and traffic ahead, or not causing or permitting the driving of a motor vehicle by another person in such a position is guilty of an offence….

So to put it simply if you can’t see the road you could end up seeing 3 points and a fine.


Beware the witches brew and wizard’s magic dust…

At a Halloween party, you may be tempted to try some witches brew and wizards dust. (or punch, to the less magically minded of us).

Not surprisingly, the magical potions which you may be possessed into “sampling” could be more evil than you think, it could contain a horrifying amount of alcohol. Just one glass could contain several units of alcohol.

The truth is that in most cases, you simply don’t know what you’re drinking. As a general rule of thumb, if you haven’t made it, or bought it in licensed premises then it’s always best to stay well clear, or order a ride on a magic broomstick (taxi) back home after the magical evening. Otherwise, even Harry’s invisibility cloak won’t let you hide from the ‘blue devils’, and once they get hold of you there’s no magic spell that can reverse your bad decisions. This could therefore lead to a consequence even more frightful than the hangover which will surely follow: a conviction for drink driving.

The UK drink drive limit is 35mg in breath, 80mg in blood or 107mg in urine. Unfortunately, there is no ‘magic number’ for how much alcohol you can drink before you reach these limits. There are too many unknown quantities: your height, your weight, the rate at which the alcohol is absorbed into your system, and certainly in the case of the witch’s brew, the strength of the alcohol that you’re consuming.

Even more hellish is the mandatory minimum twelve month disqualification which would be imposed if convicted of drink driving. With this in mind, is the party punch really worth the risk of the loss of your licence.

As for the wizard’s magic dust… the levels are even stricter. A limit of just 10mg of cocaine per litre of blood could see you convicted for drug driving, leading to an automatic disqualification for a minimum of 12 months, a fine of up to £5000 and a prison sentence of up to 6 months. Cannabis is even more of a devil’s advocate with the limit set at just 2mg of THC per litre of blood, with the same punishment applicable.


Ghosts, and what to do if you see one…

If on your way to the haunted venue you spot a poltergeist or one of the killer clowns this Halloween (whether in your car or on the road), keep calm and keep your eyes on the road! Panicking and driving like the ‘ghost busters’ rushing to trap the ghost and performing aggressive manoeuvres could end in a conviction for careless driving (for which you would receive 3-9 horrifying points) or worse, a conviction for dangerous driving (for which you would receive at least a 12 month driving ban, be made to sit a devilish extended re-test and could even be sent to prison for up to two of the most haunting years of your life!


Guest article by Robert Andrews

Happy Halloween from Ashworth Motoring Law!

For more information about the offences mentioned in this blog, or for help defending your right to drive if it is threatened by a motoring prosecution, you can call our mobile friendly helpline on 0330 33 22 770 or email enquiries@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk for FREE initial advice. We are always happy to hear from you.