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Just had an accident and could use some advice...

Discussion in 'Serious' started by NuTech, 19 Feb 2010.

  1. julianmartin

    julianmartin resident cyborg.

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    I think there is a very high chance of him retaining his driving license. His teaching license perhaps not, there may be some sort of "discretion" process there to see the revoking of it, but the possibility of him being convicted of drink driving is slim to none. No breathalyser, no blood test no nothing at the time of the alleged crime. They *could* go back and try and find the beers - doesn't mean he drank any in the eyes of the law though. All there is, is one civilians accusation faced with another's probable denial. There is no way anyone could categorically prove he was over the limit at the time, other than a single civilian witness which does not put it beyond reasonable doubt - thus no conviction I'm afraid unless he admits to it.
     
  2. dark_avenger

    dark_avenger Well-Known Member

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    Not sure about the laws over there but here in Australia if your a learner driver the person supervising you be completely sober.

    So essentially he has broken two laws there, drinking while supervising a learner and then after the lesson plain old drink driving.

    At the very least you need to report this to his employer as he is a danger to himself and others.
     
  3. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    This is almost certainly the truth. Given the number of accidents learner drivers must have in those cars, I really cannot see the AA offering a flat and level grand to everyone to shut up accidents in their cars. He's trying to pay you off. I had wondered how he was going to explain the damage - if it was frontal he could get you to say that you'd mucked up parking or something - but a good smack to the rear of the vehicle is hard to explain because under UK law the other driver is presumed to be at fault. That's exactly why he needs you on-side; his bosses are asking him why the other driver, who has a pretty difficult task in court to rebut that presumption, isn't here to cough up the insurance money for their damaged car. Unfortunately for your instructor, one of the few things that will rebut that presumption is incapacity or intoxication of the driver in front.

    I have a feeling this issue is probably compounded by the fact that the blokes behind don't appear to have been on the road legally - they will know just as you did that if they run into the back of an AA vehicle and they're insured, they're not in trouble, and if they can show that it was his fault (there's three of them as witnesses) they know they're in for a guaranteed payout. In fact, if they had been insured, this wouldn't be a problem. Your instructor would have gotten their details, driven you home, and then dealt with it when he was sober; there's no need to call the police immediately so he runs no risk of being breathalysed. Sure, you probably would still chuck him as an instructor, but if you then went to the AA he'd just be like 'Drinking? WTF? No - NuTech's just saying that because he entered the roundabout too fast.' This whole problem arises because he needs to explain why the car is damaged but he doesn't have the other driver's insurance details; if he says 'Oh, they were uninsured' the AA will ask why he didn't call the cops and may infer it's because he was over the limit. It's really bad luck that the one time he drinks during your lesson and causes an accident, he hits an uninsured driver who compounds the problem.

    So to conclude; he wants you to tell one lie of omission - not mentioning he was drinking - and one outright lie - that the other driver drove off.

    [EDIT]We all realise that he's going to bring pretty much everything against you to try and emotionally blackmail you into complying. But just think about what he's asking you to do. What I would do personally is go to the AA (a different one, maybe) anonymously and ask some questions about what would happen to their hypothetical drinking instructor. Julianmartin's right in that it's unlikely he can be prosecuted etc, so what's he so afraid of? Is one accusation enough to get him fired (AA Zero Tolerance Policy?) or has this happened before? In addition to the evidential burden that we can't satisfy, the AA itself notes that being in charge whilst intoxicated is not a mandatory disqualification offence: http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/legal-advice/drink-driving.html.[/EDIT]

    PS: Has anybody spotted the irony that he just belongs in the other sort of AA?
     
    Last edited: 22 Feb 2010
  4. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Well, my "I would hope he lost his real license" was in an ideal world.

    At the very least, here, his should be put under a closer watch in the check tests, though if there is an official complaint made against him through AA the chances are it'll stay on record, and if there are any others on his file (Since it is only a franchise, anyway), then his ownership of the franchise will probably be revoked.

    Which is why I'd suggest writing to the Chief Examiner too - Even if nothing comes of it, there's a complaint on a more permanent record regarding his driving instructor status.

    As you say, it is one civilian vs another, so in the eyes of the law, I expect the challenge would be shrugged out of a Police station.
     
  5. Comfyasabadger

    Comfyasabadger New Member

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    As one of those people who like yourself hates those, "Have you been in an accident that wasn't your fault?" adverts.
    I think to sue is a bit heavy handed, if there was no serious loss of life or injury then I would leave that.
    But I would however notify the school of the instructors drinking, anonymously ofc.
    There is no circumstance in the world that would justify drinking alcohol, taking drugs or anything like that and then getting behind the wheel of a car.

    This way you avoid becoming a hypocrite and have then also done "the right thing".
    Imagine in the future the instructor continues this behaviour and causes a crash that does result in a death, do you think you would forgive yourself?

    /Comf.
     
  6. okenobi

    okenobi New Member

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    Were you injured? If so, the statutory maximum for a minor injury in a "normal" accident is £2500. This obviously isn't normal, but what do you want.

    I wouldn't want to learn with that guy again, but I see no reason to sue anybody unless you've lost anything. However, if you officially back his story and something goes wrong in the future, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble. It's not fair of him to put you in that position.

    Ultimately, the accident is nothing to do with you. So I say just walk away and let him deal with the claim. If you're asked, he slammed on the brakes.

    If you were injured, then you deserve some compensation, but aside from that I see no need to get all heavy about it. Clearly the guy shouldn't have done it. But I wouldn't feel the need to "destroy" him as you put it.

    What's the latest today?
     
  7. tron

    tron New Member

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    I would ask myself how I would feel if I kept quiet about this now, and then sometime next year the same instructor caused actual death on the road due to drinking while instructing.

    Even if the instructor drank beer while instructing only once in his entire career, it is one mistake too many and incredibly stupid beyond belief. :wallbash:
     
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  8. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    +1

    Which is why he should be sued for all he's worth, and have his license taken away.

    The stupid alcoholic is going to get someone killed if he's allowed to keep this up :eyebrow:


    Complimentary Alcoholic test:

    1) do you only drink alcohol socially?
    2) or can you not wait until after work, and have to drink at least a few beers during work, even if it's whilst training people to operate heavy machinery?
     
  9. MacWalka

    MacWalka New Member

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    OK you've had a fair bit of advice here and I think I'll just add one more to it.

    I wouldn't take his money-it's essentially a bribe from him to shut you up. I wouldn't be comfortable taking it.

    I also wouldn't sue him-I hate this whole culture of making money off of every incident. If you were hurt then yes I would sue but if your OK then no.

    I would however tell him your dropping him as an instructor and send a letter to his bosses detailing exactly what happened. I wouldn't go to the police as there is no proof he was drinking.

    He didn't just make a mistake here. This is proper FUBAR. He drank on the job, would you get away with that in your work? He drank while in a vehicle, which is illegal in Scotland as it's technically a public place. Similar to drinking on streets and in parks is illegal. Not sure if that's the case in England though. He was intoxicated while driving after he dropped you off and drove himself home. He was under the influence while in charge of a vehicle as he was responsible while you were driving. He did not report an accident with what we presume is an uninsured driver-again illeagl AFAIK. And he is in the process of attempting to bribe you into silence.

    The guy has messed up completely. Sounds like you would feel too guilty to take his money and too nice to sue him. I would send the letter to his bosses though just for your own piece of mind that he's not doing that to other learners.
     
  10. okenobi

    okenobi New Member

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    This works +1
     
  11. NuTech

    NuTech Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again for the help guys, just back with a small update.

    I got off the phone with my sister this morning after I explained to her that I appreciate her friend (the solicitor) trying to help but she is too keen on scorching the earth rather than advising me of all my options. My sister understood and started speed dialling her law school alumni, eventually finding the number of a solicitor who has a lot of experience with driving offences.

    Hopefully I'll soon get a chance to sit down with him and find out, for certain, what I'm legally obligated to do (if anything).

    Lately, as selfish and petty as this may sound, I've really started to get angry about this entire situation. I was getting so close to my test date and now this entire cluster-**** has just put me off driving altogether. I'm sure I'll want to get back to driving eventually but I've still wasted a ton of time and money and when I do I'll have to find a new instructor and go back over all the things I may have forgotten. As if driving in London wasn't expensive enough as it is.
     
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  12. CarlT2001

    CarlT2001 New Member

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    Not only does your instructor like to drink while teaching you to drive, he also likes to bully you into some sort of scam to make a bit of cash.
    What's to think about? Tell this idiot where to go and find yourself a new driving school/instructor.
    If I were in your shoes I would also be writing a very harsh letter to the AA explaining all this in the hope the guy gets fired for putting peoples lives at risk.
    How much he had to drink is not an issue...the fact he did what he did is enough.
    Sorry for being harsh NuTech, but people like that are wrong.
     
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  13. Abhorsen

    Abhorsen Member

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    I'm sorry but this is quite clear to me. The instructor has been irresponsible and has broken the law. When i was learning i was nervous as it was with a sober, alert instructor, for him to do that to you is unforgivable.

    This time, nobody got hurt. By neglecting to inform anyone you could be inadvertently responsible for somebody dying next time.

    He needs to be off the road.
     
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  14. Shuriken

    Shuriken same christmas AV for a whole year

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    Have you had any kind of medical yet? I think it's important to make sure you aren't injured. Other than that, what he did was completely wrong. His having a wife and kid bears no relation, if he doesn't get any reprocussions from this, there's a good chance he'll seriously injure someone with this behaviour later.

    I think you NEED to report this in full to his superiors, and make a claim if it turns out you're injured.

    Also get another instructor ASAP, and get back on the proverbial horse, before you get completely put off driving. Good luck with your test :thumb:
     
  15. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    I don't see what the big dilemma is about.. maybe it's a culture thing.. but really you either go all out and sue the pants off the guy or take his money and be done with it.. any other option is just being, well I dunno how to put this nicely.. stupid

    he's not your buddy.. he's annoying the heck out of you- maybe have your sister run the show and get some change in your pocket.. or do the right thing- take the guys money and hope he learns from it

    the only thing that bothers me is he was drinking in the first place.. and he was drunk- think someone said he wasn't drunk off 3 beers- it's all relative if he has a tolerance and how much he weighs.. 10 proof sneaks up on you- I should know, used to lush back in the days.. been in accidents that weren't my fault too

    the insurance companies are nothing but a bunch of scammers who have no qualms jipping you out of time and money- it's their job.. this guy I doubt went in thinking this was going to happen- he probably needs this wake up call and the money will be a good thorn in his side to not do this again.. he's going to deny all of this happened if you go the other way, so really I don't see how you can win it anyway- but gl with the courts.. you think you've wasted a lot of time now!
     
  16. Shuriken

    Shuriken same christmas AV for a whole year

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    I think the dilemma is most good people wouldn't be comfortable getting a 'big cash settlement' they don't really deserve. Unless you are injured to an extent that you have lost/will lose money (time off work, medical bills, etc) then you shouldn't sue.

    This overly litigious 'had a trip or fall? make millions now' society we live in is just wrong in my opinion.
     
  17. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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    I know the feeling. My Dad had a major crash and was in hospital for about 3 months and on crutches for another 3 while I was learning - the knock to my confidence probably put my getting a license back 3 months...
     
  18. julianmartin

    julianmartin resident cyborg.

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    What an absoloute nightmare that must have been, 3 months? Christ alive, long time bud, long time.
     
  19. minimad127

    minimad127 CPC Refugee

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    just read all of this and i can understand where you are coming from however here is my thoughts on it

    he cracked open 3 beers whilst working - what would your boss say if you just cracked open 3 beers at work?

    he was breaking the law - simple thought really

    with that sort of over reaction he could of killed you and others - cars are very dangerous and should be treated with suitable respect ESPECIALLY by a driving instructor - how would you react if he was a shooting instructor who had a few beers and then shoved you because he thought you might shoot something and you ended up swinging the gun and nearly shooting someone?

    he is currently offering you a bribe - erm once again against the law

    how do you know that he hasnt done it before and will not do it again if you let him off? - really if you let him off and he does it again someone could get serioulsy hurt or killed

    with the fact he has drank whilst you was learning he has shown he has no respect for you as he has knowingly put your life in danger - why should you really care about someone who does not care about you

    you dont really know him, you pay for his time - would you be happy to employ and pay a gas fitter to come and repair something if you knew he was drinking whilst doing the job?


    basically i think you need to contact the AA about this and tell the truth basically he put your and other people lives at risk by drinking, he has been unprofessional, he HAS broken the law in the first place and is breaking the law again by offering you a bribe to make YOU break the law by baring false witness to his original crime.

    this guy deserves no compassion for his stupidity and deserves the book being thrown at him for his total disregard for your life other peoples lives and the law, and if you get some money out of it in some ways it woul dbe what you deserve for his total disregard for your life this supposidly responsible person has shown

    would you expect some form of compensation if a pilot of a aircraft had a minor accident whilst you was flying with them because they had been drinking? i expect most people would expect some
     
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  20. ShakeyJake

    ShakeyJake My name is actually 'Jack'.

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    He was drinking, he slammed on the breaks for (according to you) no reason. If you keep quiet, the guy in the car behind you will get blamed, if you say something it will be your driving instructor. Seems pretty easy to me actually.
     

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