It is not unusual for questions to appear on DUI forums about drivers who are arrested for DUI or driving under the influence but who were not actually driving the automobile. Although driving under the influence or DUI is a common acronym, most people do not realize that you may not have to be actually “driving” the automobile to be arrested for a DUI (driving under the influence).
So if driving under the influence or DUI does not really mean driving what does it really mean? In some states, drivers can be arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) if they are in “actual physical control” of the automobile. This means the driver may not be driving the automobile at the present moment but if they are in the automobile or on the automobile and they have the capability to drive the automobile (keys in their pocket or in the ignition) they may be charged with DUI.
So can you really be arrested for DUI if you are sitting in the driver’s seat, sitting on top of the car or simply listening to the radio? Unfortunately, yes, it is not unusual for a driver to be sitting in their car and an officer to approach the vehicle, notice they are impaired and decide to ask them to complete either a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test or to take a field sobriety test.
Unbelievably, in some states you also may be arrested for DUI if you are sitting in the car, asleep. Some drivers may sit in their car and have the keys in the ignition without the intention of ever driving; in fact, they may have good intentions and may be attempting to wait until they know they can safely operate their car, but they have instead been arrested for DUI and convicted.
Defending against a DUI
Obviously, the best course of action is to never drive if you are intoxicated. If you have been arrested for DUI but you had no intention of driving (you were asleep), you may be able to get video surveillance which might prove that you were in the car for several hours. Other drivers have had success avoiding a DUI arrest if they did not have possession of the car keys. It will be increasingly difficult for the prosecutor to prove that you had the ability or intent to drive if you did not have possession of the car keys.
So what is the bottom line? You can be arrested for DUI even if you were not actually driving the motorized vehicle and the police did not witness any of the “normal” driving actions which can establish probable cause for a DUI arrest: weaving, running a red light, illegal turn, speeding, driving the wrong way, or driving erratically.
If you have been charged DUI, it is time to talk to a DUI lawyer. If you are interest in contacting a lawyer, fill out the FREE case evaluation form and a DUI advocate will contact you to discuss the facts of your case. Visit our website at http://www.duiattorneyhome.com or call our 24/7 DUI Help Line at 1- 866-228-3201.
- What is DUI? (duiattorneyhome.com)
- When Is It Worth It To Fight My DUI? (duiattorneyhome.com)
- Reinstating license after California DUI arrest (duiattorneyhome.com)
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