Clifford Chance’s Charlton charged over drink driving

Clifford Chance’s Asia managing partner Peter Charlton has been charged with drink driving offences and will appear in court in June.


Peter Charlton
Peter Charlton

The charges are related to a road accident that took place in Hong Kong in March (16 March 2012). Around midnight on Thursday 9 March, Charlton was driving a Jaguar sports car after having consumed more than three times the legal limit of alcohol. His car crossed into the oncoming traffic lane of a road in Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels district and caused a head-on collision with a taxi. No one was seriously injured in the accident, but Charlton was arrested for drink driving and was released on bail pending further enquiries.

In a statement issued by the Hong Kong Police Force today, a spokesperson said: “Enquiries into the traffic accident were concluded. A 56-year-old man was charged on May 16 with one count each of ‘driving motor vehicle with alcohol concentration in breath over prescribed limit’ and ‘careless driving’ and would appear at Eastern Magistrates’ courts in June.”

The breath test results by the police showed that Charlton’s breath contained 70mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, three times the legal limit of 22mg per 100ml of breath.

Hong Kong has strict laws against drink driving, which is a criminal offence. Under Hong Kong’s Road Traffic Ordinance, the general maximum penalties for drink driving include a fine of up to HK$25,000 (£2020), imprisonment for up to three years and disqualification from driving for up to two years.

Charlton was elected to the Asia managing partner role in 2008 (8 September 2008) and relocated to Hong Kong from London, where he served as the firm’s global corporate head. Charlton currently holds a Hong Kong practising license and is dual-qualified in Hong Kong and England and Wales.

Clifford Chance did not respond in time to comment.