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DUIs in Parked Cars - How Is It Possible?


DUI While Sitting in a Parked Car

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal violation that seems to describe someone actually driving their vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by drugs. After all, the first word in its title is driving. However, did you know it is entirely possible to be arrested for a DUI and eventually convicted just for being drunk in your car while it is parked, the engine is off, and your keys are in your pocket?

California and many other states have gray areas and leniency in how the specifics of a DUI are described. Specifically driving a vehicle is not exactly necessary. Instead, being in control of a vehicle — or being able to readily take control — is what law enforcement looks for when making a DUI arrest.

As the legal argument can be constructed by prosecutors, if you are intoxicated inside your vehicle, then you are in control of it. You might be asleep in the backseat with the keys closed up in the glove compartment, and they would still argue that you had immediate control of your car at the time of your arrest. Part of this argument is the underlying concept that you could have just parked moments before the police officer found you. That is to say, the police do not need to witness the direct act of drunk driving, but only need to see enough circumstantial evidence to believe it happens. This is the same set of requirements needed for any criminal violation, as police will usually show up after a crime occurs to make an arrest.

Construct Your Defense Today With Attorney Zelig

At the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C., we staunchly believe in protecting the rights of the criminally accused. If you have been arrested for a DUI despite not actually driving your vehicle at all while intoxicated, then our Santa Rosa criminal defense team wants to know about it. We believe you should be commended for trying to do the right thing by sleeping until sober, rather than attempting to drive home while drunk. The criminal justice system should not penalize you for making that decision.

If you are facing DUI charges from sitting in a parked car, get started on your defense by calling (707) 418-5352 or filling out an online contact form.