0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Robinson v Director of Public Prosecutions, Divisional Court, 3 November 2003

17 November 2003
The issues

Road traffic – drink driving – mistake.

The facts

The Defendant was convicted at Thames Magistrates Court of driving with a proportion of alcohol in his breath exceeding the prescribed limit. He had pleaded guilty but asserted a special reason not to disqualify him. He stated that he was a Rastafarian, who did not drink and that he had been at a social drink and had drunk what he thought was non-alcoholic fruit punch, but which in fact contained alcohol. The Magistrate found that the Defendant had a positive duty to enquire as to the content of the punch and had failed to do so. The Defendant appealed, arguing that he had no such positive duty.

The decision

1. The Court would proceed on the basis that the Defendant was as a matter of fact unaware that the punch contained alcohol.

2. A driver who assumed that a drink at a social event did not contain alcohol took a risk. In putting forward mitigation, a driver had to show that he had done all that could reasonably be expected to avoid committing an offence. There was force in the argument that there was a duty on a person to enquire as to the content of a drink if it might contain alcohol and that person intended to drive.

Appeal dismissed.

focus on...

Legal updates

Non-payment of insurance premiums during the Coronavirus pandemic

The forced closure of many businesses as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recent reports from the Office for National Statistics state that the economy was 25% smaller in April than it was in February this year.


Legal updates

Reinstatement for property damage losses – when does it apply?

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the correct test for measuring the indemnity for property damage losses and has provided useful guidance on whether an insured needs to intend to reinstate the property to its pre-loss condition.


Legal updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) insurance considerations

With instances of COVID-19 rapidly increasing throughout the UK, many businesses are considering the options available to limit staff and customer exposure to Coronavirus.


Legal updates

Insurance annual review 2019-2020

Welcome to our review of 2019 as we look ahead to what is on the horizon for the insurance sector in 2020.


The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up