Can I get a DUI in a parked car? 84 Answers as of July 08, 2013

Charged with DUI while in lawfully parked car engine was off but keys were in the ignition to play music. One prior DUI 5 years ago. Can I still be convicted if driving was never witnessed by officers? 

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Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
Based on the facts that you have presented yes. If the the keys were in the ignition so the car could be started and driven away by you most jurisdictions consider that you were in control of the vehicle for DUI purposes.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 8/8/2011
Law Office of Cotter C. Conway
Law Office of Cotter C. Conway | Cotter C. Conway
You can be charged with a DUI either for driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a prohibited substance or for being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a prohibited substance. Thus, an officer does not need to witness you driving a vehicle in order for there to be a conviction for DUI. However, the ultimate question is whether you must have driven the vehicle to the location where the officer found you while under the influence. You should seek legal counsel in this case. Contact me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/18/2011
Greenwald, Mayfield & Vigil, LLP
Greenwald, Mayfield & Vigil, LLP | Lauren M. Mayfield
One defense to a DUI is the "no-drive" defense. The issue in your case will be 1) did the officer have probable cause to approach the vehicle and pull you out of the vehicle to do the field sobriety tests and 2) was there evidence that you were under the influence at the time of driving. If the officer did not see you driving then the prosecution is not going to be able to meet the elements of a DUI because cases law has established that unless the officer sees you move the car (even the slightest movement of the vehicle counts) the offense of driving under the influence has not occurred and therefore you cannot be convicted of a DUI. It is very important that you speak with a criminal defense attorney right away because your DUI from 5 years is priorable and if you get convicted of a second DUI you will be sentenced to jail time. Also, you or your attorney should contact the DMV right away to schedule an administrative hearing to defend your license.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/18/2011
Goolsby Law Office
Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
You should retain a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. As a former prosecutor and currently, as a defense attorney, I have seen such cases go both ways. You should discuss with your criminal lawyer all the facts which support your contention that you were not driving. The state might be willing to discuss the case with your lawyer, too. Good luck! >
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/16/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
The law in Alabama makes no distinction between whether you were actually driving the car or whether you had actual physical control of the car (keys in the ignition) and were not operating the car. The punishment is the same.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 7/15/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    Yes, you technically can. All the law requires is the keys in the ignition and a presumption takes effect at that place that you were driving. I'd suggest you contact an experienced defense attorney right away.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    DUI can be prosecuted based on circumstantial evidence of driving, and it occasionally is, but it is an uphill battle for the government.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You can be charged with a DUI if the evidence would indicate that you either operated or attempted to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and or drugs. If you were in a vehicle which was potentially operational by you then the police could potentially charge you, the evidence would need to be pretty specific in order to convict you however.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    You can be convicted if the D.A. can prove you drove through circumstantial evidense, such as: Was engine warm? Were the keys in the ignition? Was anybody else in the car? Is it your car? Were there empty alcohol containers in the car? It would be a good idea to consult with an attorney since it would be considered your second offense.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Yes you are presumed to have driven to the parked place when DUI However, this may be a good case to fight. Get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    The issue is whether you were operating the car while impaired. If the car was on then maybe they can say that it was being operated. You need an attorney. The facts in this case are critical.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    It is possible for you to be convicted if it can be shown that you were in control of the car. This is a case were a competent criminal defense attorney may be able to help you. A conviction will depend on the facts of the case and how they are developed at trial before the jury.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    Theoretically, yes. Sitting in the car with keys in the ignition is enough for a judge or jury to find that you were operating a motor vehicle. With that said, it might be a more difficult DUI for the prosecution to prove. You should speak with a criminal defense attorney in your area about your options.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    I would need further information to answer the question, however if the police have some way of proving you were operating the vehicle you could get convicted. you should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    NH has an actual physical control definition of operating. So yes you can be charged and even convicted. However, if you hire a good DWI lawyer you can win. My advise is hire the best DWI lawyer in the locality of the charge.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Castleberry & Elison
    Castleberry & Elison | Peter Castleberry
    The short answer is yes. To be convicted of DUII in Oregon, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you drove on a public road. Although it will difficult for the State to prove their case if no person actually witnessed you driving, it may attempt to rely on *circumstantial *evidence that you were driving. For instance, the police officers may testify that they felt the hood of your vehicle and observed that it was still warm. Your location in relationship to your residence may also provide circumstantial evidence of driving. Moreover, it is possible that the State could could charge you with Attempted DUII, meaning that you took a substantial step towards driving under the influence.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    You cannot be convicted of DUI if you were not driving. However, it is a crime to be in "physical control" pf a car while under the influence, even if you're not driving. You should talk to an attorney about this.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Question Detail: Charged with DUI while in lawfully parked car engine was off but keys were in the ignition to play music. One prior DUI 5 years ago. Can I still be convicted if driving was never witnessed by officers? Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    If the officers have probable cause to believe that you were at some point driving the vehicle while intoxicated then you certainly can be arrested and charged with DUI. You may be able to contest this after the fact which is something that you should discuss with an experienced DUI defense attorney. Because of your prior conviction you will likely be facing second offense DUI charges which can be more serious and may carry mandatory jail time on conviction. An attorney will be able to advise you how best to proceed and may be able to negotiate reduced charges and/or sentencing based on the evidence. If you are seeking DUI representation in Louisiana,
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    yes its called actual physical control
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Dichter Law Office, PLLC
    Dichter Law Office, PLLC | Jonathan Dichter
    You can be charged with "Physical Control" - which is essentially the same as DUI - whether or not you'd be convicted is a different question.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Brucar & Yetter, P.C.
    Brucar & Yetter, P.C. | Wayne Brucar
    Yes. In Illinois all that has to be shown is that you were in "actual physical control" of the car. If you were in n the driver's seat with the keys in the ignition your situation fits the legal description of actual physical control. Please understand that answering this doesn't create an attorney/client relationship between us, and as hard as I try to answer your question well, it isn't legal advice. No matter how much information you put into a question, the answers you are going to get are still going to be vague. It is in your interest to contact a lawyer, most of whom will do a free consultation. Even 15 minutes with a lawyer is going to produce a more specific answer to your problem.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
    You have a good defense if there were no witnesses to your driving and you were lawfully parked.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Sad to say yes you can be convicted. Keys in the ignition amounts to actual physical control. You might have a safe shelter defense, but I would need more information to address your question.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Offices of Carl Spector
    Law Offices of Carl Spector | Carl Spector
    Yes, unfortunately "driving" does not necessarily mean driving. Having the ability to drive the car may be enough. Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to go over all the police reports.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Yes if it can be proved that you drove there, didn't drink after you stopped driving and your blood alcohol result was likely .08 or above when you did drive based on what it was when you were arrested.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Need to see the police report.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Yes. If the car is operable and has the keys in it. Get an attorney. The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    You really need to hire an attorney. If you can was not running but the keys were in the ignition, the prosecution may attempt to say that you had "control" over the car and therefore could be charged. You really need to get an attorney to handle this matter for you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Yes, It's possible. Circumstantial evidence can support a verdict of guilty. Depending on other facts in the case, thejudge or jurycould infer that you had drove the car to the parking lot while under the influence. Also, if the charge is based on a breath/blood test of .08 or higher, it can be inferred that you drove the car with that much in your system.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Unfortunately, you can. However, these parked car cases are often defensible - you need to talk to a good attorney about the details of the case. This is a DUI second for you and carries mandatory jail time if you are convicted. Feel free to call me if you'd like to discuss the case. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs | Craig Gibbs
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Yes. Get a lawyer. Do not speak to the police. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam | Ramona Hallam
    Depending on the circumstances of the offense, the District Attorney may try "circumstantially" to prove that you had been driving. If the keys were in the ignition, the engine was warm or running, your foot was on the brake, or you admit going somewhere or having come from somewhere, they might be able to make their case. If the officer didnt personally see you drive the car, you have a much better chance of fighting the DUI charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    In Michigan - the car must be in drive in order for you to be "operating." The state can arrest you and try to prove that you had "operated" while intoxicated if there is circumstantial evidence of operating while intoxicated.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes! Actually you can be charged. It is "operation" of a motor vehicle and not necessarily catching you in the act of drving that counts. You must get a lawyer and look into this in greater detail.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The definition of DWI in New York includes "operating a vehicle on a public highway". That includes being parked with the keys in the ignition. If you are behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition you are operating a vehicle as long as you are not in a parking lot. If you are in a parking lot there are additional cases that define whether you are operating the vehicle on a "public highway". You should retain myself or an experienced criminal attorney to represent you in the matter.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Case law says that if the keys were in the ignition and you were behind the wheel, you were in control of the vehicle and can be cited for DUI. That doesn't mean you do not have a defense and it sounds like you do.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
    Its possible, but difficult for the DA to prove. They have to somehow prove to a jury that you did more than use the radio, that you were operating the car at some point while intoxicated beyond the legal limit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    The appropriate charge is Physical Control and the prosecution still has to improve you were impaired by drugs or alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, unless you start looking for a lawyer. The prosecutor will be relying on circumstantial evidence to prove that you were driving before the cops arrived. Prosecutors rarely back down from a no drive defense (ie. I've heard of that one before...) unless you have a good lawyer to present the case on your behalf.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Office of James Christie, LLC
    Law Office of James Christie, LLC | James Christie
    Under Alaska law, the answer is yes. Although most people talk about DUI, the actual offense is Operating Under the Influence. Under Alaska law, you do not need to be driving, but merely operating the vehicle. The Alaska appellate courts have held that keys in the ignition is sufficient for a person to be "operating" the vehicle under Alaska law.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC
    Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC | Brandon Moffitt
    Yes it is possible. Keys in the ignition are not a good thing, but given the right facts you could still beat the case.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    As crazy as it sounds, in Mass, you can be convicted if you are in a parked car, with the engine off, if the key is IN the ignition. It is the element of Operation that is in question here. I have successfully challenged this element many times but it can be used to convict you together with other evidence. You should not take this case lightly and think that because the car was off, you will easily prevail. Hire a god Criminal Defense lawyer, who, like myself, specializes in Criminal Defense and DUI/OUI?DWI cases. If you would like to discuss this in more detail my contact info is below. You only have one chance to get this right. You do not want to be sitting with 2 DUIs 5 years from now.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    Law enforcement and prosecutors often do charge people with DUII charges for sitting in a parked vehicle, whether the vehicle is on or off. The presumption is that you likely drove the vehicle to its current position within a short period of time of consuming alcohol. There is also an argument the prosecution can make that even turning the key to a vehicle to listen to the radio is considered "operating a motor vehicle," which is one of the elements of DUII. I advise you consult with an attorney. The fact scenario you presented may pose problems for the prosecution, and with a prior DUII charge in your recent past, it is important you get advice on how to handle this incident.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Offices of Jacek W. Lentz
    Law Offices of Jacek W. Lentz | Jacek W. Lentz
    Driving can be proven by circumstantial evidence. Yes, they can charge you and they probably will. However, in the event when the engine was not running and no one witnessed your driving, you very well might have a very defensible case. Each case is different and it is impossible to evaluate your case without knowing all the facts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
    There has to be driving. They don't necessarily have to witness it. They can prove it circumstantially. But that may be difficult for the DA to do in your case. In addition to fighting your court case, you should contest the suspension of your driver's license by DMV IMMEDIATELY.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    Short answer is, Yes. You can get a DUI for being in a parked car. At least, you can be arrested for it. What I think you're getting at is whether the arrest was lawful, and whether being in a parked car means you have a fighting chance to win your case. Short answer to that question is - it depends. In California, in order to be properly convicted of a DUI, the DA must present proof that you were DRIVING a car. As you mentioned, if you're parked, then there is no driving. Having the keys in the ignition may open you to other charges, but if the car didn't move, than you werent "driving" which means you have at least a good argument to start a defense to the DUI charges. Don't forget, if you were arrested for a DUI, you only have 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV - otherwise, your license is automatically suspended. DO NOT wait until your first court date as the public defender won't be able to help with your DMV case, and what the court does has nothing to do with what action the DMV takes. I strongly suggest you speak with an attorney and discuss the details of your case. Then you'll be in a better position to determine what can be done to help your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    The Law Firm of David Jolly
    The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
    You may be charged with DUI on the facts presented, although it does present a problem for the prosecutor proving you were driving. The more correct charge is Physical Control which looks like a DUI, has the same penalties as a DUI, but without the driving. A question that needs asking is, why did the Officer approach you if you were lawfully parked in your car? If he/she had no reason, perhaps there is no probable cause to contact you (and case dismissed). Due to your prior DUI conviction within 7 years, be cautious with this case as this would be considered a "2nd" offense (even if it is charged as physical control).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    Physical control of a vehicle is the same as driving since the state assumes even if you are parked at the time if you have the ability to start the car and drive you can be charged with a DUI. Since the keys were in the ignition and you were in the drivers seat they can charge you with a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    More than likely you will be charged with physical control.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    The short answer is yes. The keys in your possession or proximity constitutes actual physical control which is enough to get you for dui. I suggest you consult a local criminal defense attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    The DA can prosecute you for a DUI and attempt to convict you based upon "circumstantial evidence". Did you take a blood or breathe test and what was the result? Did you take a field sobriety test and how did you do? How did you get to the location where your car was parked? Was the car parked far from businesses where you could have walked to your car? All of these are factual issues that the DA will try to use to have you found guilty. OF course you need to combat this by retaining an experienced DUI defense firm like Wallin and Klarich to help you. Due to you having a prior conviction for DUI within 10 years this is much more serious and can result in mandatory jail time if you are convicted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Were you by a public road or were you strictly parked on private property (i.e. private driveway). That may make a difference but the reality is in Michigan (and in most states) if you are behind the wheel and the keys are in the ignition, that will be enough to get a DUI even if you are not driving or the officer did not see you drive because the vehicle is "under your control." If you already have a DUI on your record then you will be charged as a second offender with heightened punishments.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker | Steven Decker
    In Illinois you can still be charged with a DUI because you had control of the car and access to the keys.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Smith & John
    Smith & John | Kenneth Craig Smith, Jr.
    You must be operating the vehicle. If the vehicle was not running then it will be difficult to establish that element.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Grantland, Blodgett, Shaw & Abel
    Grantland, Blodgett, Shaw & Abel | Gregory M. Abel
    YES. The state has to prove that you operated a motor vehicle while 1., you had a breath alcohol concentration of .08% or more, 2., had a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs, or 3., were otherwise affected by an intoxicant. The alleged driver passed out in the car cases are defendable but they can be filed and prosecuted.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    Potentially yes. I suggest consulting an attorney who can assist you given the facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    Absolutely you can be charged with a DUI in a parked car. The law in Alabama only requires that you be "in control" of the vehicle. Hire a lawyer. DUIs have serious consequences, especially when you have more than one.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    If you were 1) in the vehicle and 2) under the influence of intoxicants you can be charged and convicted of being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence which has the same penalties as DUI. However, depending on what evidence they have, you may be able to prove there isn't much evidence of intoxication. Yeah you were in the vehicle but you were sober enough not to drive. Also, the prosecutor has to have a witness who saw you in the vehicle with the keys in your possession or in the ignition. You're not beat yet and a good lawyer may save the day. There are some fast deadlines ahead of you. For one thing, you need to send in a request for a DOL hearing ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    If you were behind the wheel and the copfelt the hood and it was warm (as if the car has been recently driven) they can prosecute you. Of course it may well be that your sober friend was driving and got out to take a leak, so you slid into the driver's seat to better play the radio.The problem is that if convicted you will have your second DUI and that is not good so you really ought to fight this one.One never knows. Good luck and let me know what happens.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    Yes you can be arrested. Connecticut requires that the key be in the ignition. The engine does not have to be on.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    Yes if you have the keys within reach.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    San Diego DUI Law Center
    San Diego DUI Law Center | Rick Mueller
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi
    Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi | Rodney Nosratabadi
    The "NO DRIVE" defense to a DUI is a great defense. The prosecution has the burden of proving that the ignition was on and that the heat was emitting from the engine of the vehicle. Absent testimony about the same, the prosecution will have an uphill battle ahead of it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    Yes. In Colorado you are 'operating a car" if the keys are in the ignition. The 'reasoning' is that it takes very little effort to put the car in motion. I disagree with this but it is the law. Hire a lawyer - there may be things they can do that will be very beneficial in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Yes. If the District Attorney's Office can prove that you were driving and you were at least a .08% BAC, you can be convicted of a DUI. Also, I've heard of people being convicted for attempting to drive while intoxicated. The fact that your car keys were in the ignition, even if it was just to listen to music, is not a good fact for your defense. It further proves that you were either going to drive from that location or that you actually drove to that location.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Of course. Implied control of the car in the recent past is all that is required to charge. Of course you can fight it. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. Keep in mind a little free advice: When arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking the defendant is given documents that include a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic one-year suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV appeal hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    You can be charged under RCW 46.61.504. Physical control of vehicle under the influence: (1) A person is guilty of being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person has actual physical control of a vehicle within this state: (a) And the person has, within two hours after being in actual physical control of the vehicle, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506 *or* (b) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; *or* (c) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug. This charge is nearly identical to a standard DUI and has the same penalties. The only difference is that it is a defense to physical control that "prior to being pursued by a law enforcement officer, the person has moved the vehicle safely off the roadway." Unfortunately, most prosecutors would rather donate a kidney than agree that an impaired driver's vehicle was "safely off the roadway" and these case can become extremely difficult and complicated. You should seek representation by an attorney experienced in DUI defense.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    Possibly. Were there other witnesses besides the officer? Why did the police contact you?
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Leyba Defense, PLLC
    Leyba Defense, PLLC | Matthew Leyba
    Driving is an essential element of a DUI. If the Prosecution cannot prove you were driving then there are serious legal issues in their case. However if you were in your car and it was parked, you could be charged with physical control. This is basically like a DUI (meaning it carries all the same penalties) except there is no driving element. There are certain legal defenses with this charge, and it sounds like some many apply to your situation. You should speak with an experienced DUI Attorney immediately to determine your options and best course of action.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    If this occurred in the State of Illinois, you certainly could be convicted for DUI. If you were caught behind the steering wheel with keys in the ignition, EVEN if on private property, you are a candidate for a DUI. Understand that you were in "actual physical control" of said vehicle, and the statute says the vehicle is located anywhere within the State of Illinois, which includes a private parking lot, or even your driveway at home (not limited to a "public highway"), so you are in deep doo-doo! Retain an attorney to work with you to resolve this mess. As a second-time offender, your problems could be worse than on your first arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Steven C. Bullock
    This is an explosively dangerous question that is answered with much more detailed information than is provided in your question.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Anything can happen. Of course you were charged, so they must feel they cab prove their case. There is fairly clear case law in what is operating in Michigan.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Unfortunately it is possible. It is stupid but possible. There is actually a case that was upheld on appeal where a guy was in the car - maybe with the car on, maybe off - can't remember - but he was not driving and he was either listening to the music, napping, or napping with the a/c on. You are not charged with "driving"; you are charged with "operating". While you can be arrested and prosecuted, these cases are often dumped in trial court and can be won at trial. You were arrested, no doubt, because you had a prior. (That is also why they will be slower to dismiss your case.) You need a good, strong lawyer who will stand up to the prosecutor and demand that you were not guilty.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    A lot will depend on what the officers say they observed and any statements you may have made. Generally speaking, you do have to be driving to be convicted of DUI. But prosecutors and police have a large bag of tricks they can use. If you have been arrested and charged, I would highly recommend getting an attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    The statute prohibits operation while intoxicated; not driving. operation is broader. Keys in the car hurt you but it could be a defensible case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    Based upon what you said, probably not. But if anyone saw you drive or if the car was illegally parked then yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Bruce H. Lehr, P.A.
    Bruce H. Lehr, P.A. | Bruce H. Lehr
    Yes. DUI is driving or being in "actual physical control" of a motor vehicle. That includes having the "apparent ability to drive." That includes keys in the ignition. Therefore you can, indeed, be convicted of DUI sitting in a car with keys in ignition.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/13/2011
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