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Do you know that sleeping intoxicated in the driver's seat is an offence?

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or Drink Driving as it is more commonly known here is Singapore is an offence that can get drivers fined, banned from driving and even land up in jail.

A lesser known offence that many might not know is that being found intoxicated in the driver's seat of a stationary car could also get you into trouble like drink driving.

According to a report by, a certain Mr Michael Tan (not his real name) had too much to drink one night and went into the driver's seat of his car to sleep. His car was parked in a public car park and stationary.

A police officer noticed him sleeping in the car and woke him up to administer a breath analyser test which he failed. As a result of the incident, Mr Michael Tan was fined $4,500 and suspended from all driving licences for 30 months.

BookValet blogged about the DUI laws in Singapore previously and you can read the article DUI Laws in Singapore here.

The legal alcohol limit in Singapore is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, or 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

What people might not be aware of however is this:

The law states that any person being in charge of a motor vehicle, which is on a road or at a public place but not driving the vehicle, found under the influence of drinks or drugs to the extent of being incapable to control the vehicle is deemed guilty – unless it could be proven that there was no likelihood of the driving of the vehicle.

If you are caught drink driving, it is a straightforward offence. One might argue that sleeping at the wheel with the engine off is not the same as being caught driving while intoxicated. But in both situations, there is a risk to other users of the road as the driver is not fully in control of his actions under the influence of alcohol. For example, being at the wheel means he might get up in his drunken stupor and just start driving.

The penalty for being caught drink driving is heavier than being caught at the wheel intoxicated and sleeping, because the risk has actualised in the former. For the latter, the risk has either passed or may only actualise in the future, hence a lighter sentence.

The best solution to this? Call for BookValet's Valet Service to drive you home after a night of drinks. avoid sitting at the driver's side when you are waiting for our valet drivers who can reach you within 30 minutes.

For more information on BookValet and our services, refer to

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