Did you know that being in a vehicle while drunk can lead to a
DUI arrest, even if you are
not operating the vehicle? This may go against all that you thought you knew
about DUI, but it is
When a person is drunk, no amount of coffee or food will sober them up.
Nor will an ice cold shower, a walk in the brisk night air, or a Red Bull.
The only thing that sobers a person up is
For those that have been drinking, sleeping it off in their car may seem
like a smart option. However, they could still be charged with DUI, even
though they weren’t driving.
Sleeping In Your Car Can Be Grounds for DUI Charges
If you are sleeping in your car after consuming alcohol, you may be arrested
for DUI. How is this possible?
When an officer finds you, their first instinct will be to check your safety
to ensure everything is alright. When they notice the smell of alcohol
or other indications that you are drunk, they can run the standard checks
for DUI, including
field sobriety and chemical tests.
The officer is acting under the assumption that you have driven while you
were intoxicated since there is no evidence that you became intoxicated
after parking the car.
Based on your responses, their observations, and the results of any tests
they performed, law enforcement may choose to arrest you under suspicion of DUI.
What Won’t Help Your Case
If the police believe that you were driving under the influence earlier,
but pulled your vehicle over to sleep it off, then DUI charges can be
filed against you. In that case, it would be up to the prosecution to
prove, based on circumstantial evidence that you were drunk driving.
Situations that would NOT help your DUI case:
- You were sitting behind the wheel, with the keys in the ignition.
- You were sitting in the driver’s seat with the engine running.
- Your vehicle was pulled over on the side of a busy street.
Let’s say it was 1:00 a.m. and you walked to your car to sleep off
the seven beers you just drank at a local bar. It was a cold night, so
you put the keys in the ignition and turned on the heater as you dozed
off to sleep.
Even though you weren’t drinking and driving at all that night, it
could be difficult to prove to the prosecution. Since the keys were in
the ignition, for all the police and the DA know, you were drunk driving,
then you pulled over and passed out.
If you have no other choice but to sleep it off in your vehicle for the
next eight hours, be sure to lay down in the back seat, and keep your
keys in the back, nowhere near the ignition. Otherwise, you could face
Orange County DUI Defense Attorney
When you have been sleeping in a car and an officer questions your impairment,
you need the help of an aggressive DUI attorney on your case. If you have
questions about your rights after being arrested for DUI,
contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free consultation.