Police in Surrey pulled a woman over after spotting her drinking from a can of Stella behind the wheel, but because she tested under the legal driving limit, they were forced to let her drive away with just a talking to.
After police posted the incident on Twitter, they were inundated with questions over why the woman wasn’t arrested, and the force had to remind drivers that open vessel laws did not exist in the UK, only in the US. Following the announcement, some responders questioned why the Police gave her a verbal warning, if she wasn’t breaking the law, to which they responded that it was their role to prevent law breaking as well as punishing it, and pointed out that they advised the woman that she may test over the limit if she were to continue driving.
The driver sat in a lay-by for an hour, in order to let the alcohol she had consumed wear off, and then continued on her journey. She had tested 4mg under the legal limit of 35mg and also tested negative for drugs when police used the new drugalyser testing equipment that is used primarily to test for cannabis or cocaine in the body.
Current UK laws do not prohibit drivers from drinking alcohol while behind the wheel, although such laws do exist in the US. However, being spotted drinking from an open can of beer is a sure fire way of ensuring that the Police are highly likely to pull you over and conduct a breathalyser test. This is exactly what happened to one woman in Surrey. She was pulled over and tested for alcohol in her system when Surrey police saw her drinking from a can of Stella.
The current drink driving limit is 35mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, and the woman tested 31mg per 100ml. The police also tested the woman to determine whether there were drugs present in her system, and this test came back negative. The police said that they were, unfortunately, forced to let her go after a stern talking to because she had not broken the law.