Can I get a DUI in a parked car not recently driven? 29 Answers as of May 28, 2013

Resting in car in convenience store parking lot. Leaning out of car to vomit from bad food eaten hours before. No prior criminal history of any kind. Store personnel call police after questioning me how I was. I was coherent, cooperative, and passed the sobriety test.

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Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
If you passed the sobriety tests and the blood or breath test you should not be charged. If your blood alcohol was high enough they will charge you and could convict you. There may be an issue of rising blood alcohol if there were open containers in your car which may help you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/27/2012
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
If there was observed driving, yes you could. DUI requires "driving"; however, you could be charged with "physical control" if you were under the influence while in control of a vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 9/20/2012
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Can you/ Yes, if police can show you operated the vehicle while intoxicated. If you got a DUI, you didn?t ?pass? the field sobriety test. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if the charges are in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. I?ll be happy to help fight this and get the best outcome possible, using whatever defenses there may be. A little free advice: If arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking, the defendant is given documents that include a notice that he has only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of the automatic suspension of license imposed by DMV upon arrest. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by DMV or the court upon conviction. Contact DMV and do so, timely if you think you have grounds for appeal, then appear at the scheduled DMV appeal hearing to present your supporting evidence and witness testimony. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/20/2012
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
DUI includes driving under the influence as well as being drunk in possession of a car whether you are operating it or not. The penalties are the same.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/20/2012
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
If in Illinois, you could be arrested for DUI if behind the steering wheel, keys in ignition. You do not need to be on a public roadway, you can be arrested anywhere in the State, including your own driveway. However, you should hire counsel, collect the witnesses who came to your aid, and try the case, you stand a good chance of winning at trial.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 9/20/2012
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    If you passed the sobriety test and tested under the legal limit and did not refuse the testing there should not be a dui. Get representation if you are charged.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    It is considered that you are operating a car if you are in the car and the keys are in the ignition. So you can probably be charged but maybe you can fight it so hire an experienced DUI lawyer in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Was the car running? If not you should get a lawyer and fight the matter if you had not been operating the vehicle. It is operating that is the magic thing you have to do with a car in order to get convicted.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. You may be charged with a DWI if you had the ability to operate the motor vehicle and you were not at your final destination. There are, of course, defenses. You should consult with counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    How you can get a DUI in a parked car will depend on how you and the car arrived at the parking lot to begin with. If there is no one else around, the police will reasonably assume that you drove there in your present condition. Whether you were actually under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, instead of being sick from bad food or food poisoning, will depend more on the results of a breath or blood test, rather than a field sobriety test. I strongly suggest that you contact an experienced criminal law attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your arrest. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze your case and advise you of your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    The three elements that the government must prove for OUI are Operation, Public Way and .08% or better or impaired operation. You are challenging the Operation element. Case law has established that sitting in the car with the keys in the ignition may satisfy the element of Operation. The idea is that with the keys in the ignition, that you have the ability to drive or operate the vehicle. The operative word is may. It is not a small dunk and certainly may be challenged by your attorney. I assume you will have an attorney to represent you. You certainly should.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    You need to retain counsel to take this case to trial.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If you were behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition then you were "operating the vehicle", and if it was a parking lot it might qualify for a DWI, depending on a number of factors. You should retain a good criminal lawyer to handle the matter. The prosecutor will not have any bad driving to prove the DWI, and unless the have a breathalyzer it will be hard to prove that you were intoxicated as opposed to suffering from food poisoning or some other condition or disease. You will need a doctor to testify, and perhaps the people you were with that night to testify that you did not have anything to drink. If the police did not do field sobriety tests, get a BAC, or get admissions that you were drinking or driving the prosecutor may not be able to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You can get a DUI in a parked car, but the state will need to show evidence that you either operated the car under the influence or "attempted" to operate the car in order to convict you. Get a lawyer to help you.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Pietryga Law Office | Russ Pietryga
    Maybe, People get charged for DUI in parked cars all the time. However, there is an actual physical control issue in everyone of these cases. Utah's DUI statute states, A person may not operate or be in actual physical control of a vehicle within the state if the person. has sufficient alcohol in the person?s body that a subsequent chemical test shows that the person has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or greater at the time of the test is under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle; has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or greater at the time of operation or actual physical control In Utah there are several nonexclusive factors for assessing whether a person is in actual physical control of a vehicle. the Richfield factors They are. Whether the person was asleep or awake in the vehicle, when the peace officer discovered them; Where the vehicle is positioned. Whether the vehicle's motor is running; Whether the person was in the driver?s seat of the vehicle, Whether the person was the sole occupant of the vehicle, Whether the person possessed the ignition key; The person?s apparent ability to start and move the vehicle. How the vehicle got to where it was discovered; and Whether the person drove the vehicle to the place it was discovered. Utah Courts evaluate these factors under the totality of the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    Yes, it's possible you could get a DUI. The prosecutor would have to prove that you were intoxicated and you had actual physical control of the car. In court you could argue against ever having control of the car and that you were not intoxicated. For your best chances,
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Joshua Price | Joshua Price
    Yes, you can definitely be charged on suspicion of DUI under those circumstances, however whether or not the State can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt is another story! They can try and rely on circumstantial evidence such as your statements, whether or not hood of car is warm, etc. to prove you were DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Glass Defense Firm
    Glass Defense Firm | Jason M. Glass
    The police can charge you but they have to be able to show when you were driving your vehicle in order to show that you were under the influence at that time. It would depend upon what you mean by recently not driven.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    If you had the keys in the ignition or in your pocket. You van be charged with actual physical control which is dui.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    The DUI state covers "physical control" of a motor vehicle as well as "driving" and "operating". If the facts are such that you could decide to drive the vehicle if you chose, you are deemed to be in physical control.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    You can get a DUI in a parked car, IF the parked car has a warm hood, and you appear as IF you are under the influence. You passed the sobriety test according to whom? I suspect that you need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    You can get charged with a DUI in this situation, but if charged, it should be fought. Contact a DUI attorney in your area to discuss the case in more detail. If your case is in southern California,
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
    From the way the question is asked, it would seem you have already been charged with the DUI. It is now a question of the establishment of proof of operating the vehicle while under the influence. There are many factors that can go into this kind of case and the ways to prove the charge are sometimes only limited by the cops imagination. You need to get this into a lawyers office now and get the police reports to see what the cops are going to say about that night.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
    You can receive a DUI based on these facts, if the keys were in the vehicle at the time. However you have a defense to the license suspension if the parking lot was not a publicly-owned or maintained parking lot. Also, if you passed the field tests, you may be able to defend the case on the grounds that you were not intoxicated.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    If you passed the field sobriety test there should be no problem.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes. They can use circumstantial evidence to show that you WERE driving just a short while ago. You should consult a DUI specialist, and do it soon because you have only 10 days to save your license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It should like you have a potential defense, it will not be easy and you will need an attorney but such cost is nothing in comparison with the cost of a wrongful conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Douglas M. Philpott, P.C. | Peter J. Philpott
    They have to prove you operated the vehicle and you were drunk at the time.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/20/2012
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