With regard to the various events found in the case scenario we find that the very first incident in which Rodney takes the van to collect the consignment he stopped at a bar and drank four or five pints of liquor. 4 to 5 pints is quite enough to intoxicate a driver. Even if the van had a steering mechanism problem a driver can feel that abnormality at the very first and will know how to tackle such a vehicle. The point to be noted here is that the incident occurred after Rodney's visit to the bar. This van had the trouble even before it was purchased by Derek and the Ex-owner did tell Derek about the problem without any inhibitions. We will address the liability issue of the seller later on but there is little that can help Derek to claim the damages from the seller as the said problem of the vehicle was discussed before Derek purchased the vehicle. Now, there is another point that I would like to discuss here - Derek knew about the steering problem of the vehicle but did not advise Rodney to be careful with the van. Rodney is liable for drunk driving and damaging Jeff's shop and Alan's café but Rodney can blame Derek for not informing him about the problem.(Ashworth, AJ 1995 Pp. 89).
Derek can argue that the crash took place after Rodney's intoxication. Drunk driving is a violation of traffic laws.
The provision in law that applies is section four of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which states that "a person who, when driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle on a road or a public place is unfit to drive through drink or drugs is guilty of an offence. Rodney is liable to Jeff, Alan and even Derek for the damage to their shops and Derek's van. Derek is partly liable to Rodney for not informing him about the steering problem but as the incident has occurred after Rodney's intoxication we cannot now blame Derek for the damage.
In DPP v Majewski (1977)it was contended that if intoxication affected the mind of the defendant it was illogical and unethical to distinguish between its effect on one state of mind and on another. In other cases In Ormrod v Crosville Motors  1 WLR 409, however, the driver was taking the defendant's car from Birkenhead to Monte Carlo so that the defendant could use it there on holiday. On the journey the claimant was injured by the driver's negligent driving. The defendant was found to be vicariously liable.
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