my son is picked up by police for taking weed, was sitting in car behind steering wheel, can they keep him. His friends were send home?
Province/Country relating to question : west sussex
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The police appear to have concluded that your son was in charge of the vehicle whilst under the influence of drink and/or drugs. This is a criminal offence and one in which the police are entitled to detain your son. If the friends were assessed as having not been under suspicion of committing an offence (or arrestable offence) they were properly sent off home. I am sure that their names and addresses would have been taken by by the police officers before they were allowed to leave. I am also reasonably confident that your son will be (or was) released (on bail) after he was either charged or released in respect of the offence that was under investigation. it appears on your question that your son accepts that he was smoking cannabis at the time and that he was in control of the car on a public highway/public place at the time he was detained by the police. His detention and/or arrest at that time would be viewed as lawful. I hope that helps.
Thank you very much for your explanation. Driving while under the influence of weed (?) is a criminal offence? I seem to remember that the police need to prove that the driver's actions are impaired by drug use. My son was sitting behind the steering wheel, the car engine was not running so not sure what exactly was impaired?
To be in control of the vehicle does not require the engine to be on. The offence of being under the influence of drugs is not like drink driving where they take you back to the police station for the provision of a further breath specimen for analysis. In that event (if the specimen is provided you can establish a specific reading against which it is compared with the legal limit of for example 35 in breath. The point is that the police are under a duty to investigate if they form the view that there is a reasonable basis for believing that an offence may have been committed. to that end they can detain your son. If after the investigation (for example your son is not under the influence of drugs) they can release him without charge. There will be (at the moment) nor reading as to drugs taken. That evidence will be down to the police officers making a subjective assessment of the drug on your son at the time. Any court would have to look at all the evidence and form a judgement.
The police would also be looking at the question of driving by asking how the car arrived at the location, who was driving and under what circumstances.
I hope that this helps. Regards XXX XXX. Lockwood.
Thank you very much. Understand! time to reign in freedom that he clearly is not ready to carry yet!
Barrister for over twenty years. Experience in the provision of advisory services and court litigation
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