Can you legally get a DUI while sleeping? 71 Answers as of June 16, 2011

I was sleeping in my car in the parking lot when I woke up to a flashlight shining in my face. I was then arrested for DUI. Is this legal?

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
The police generally can arrest you if they have reasonable suspicion that you have been driving while intoxicated. However the prosecutor would still have the burden to prove that you actually were driving intoxicated. You should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/16/2011
Lowenstein Law Office
Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
Only if they can prove that you were driving while intoxicated. Did you drive in your sleep? For more information, please see my website or call me for a legal consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson | Michael Stephenson
You can be convicted for DUI if you were operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. If you were under the influence and were operating the vehicle at any point before you went to sleep, either by driving it, or running the motor, you can be convicted. It is no defense that you took a nap afterwards. However, if you were not operating the car before you fell asleep, you could win. Either way, you should consult an attorney who can go into more detail with the particular facts of your case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
If you were not conscious or sleeping you could not be operating or attempting to operate the vehicle. So, you may have a valid defense to a DUI charge. You should consult with an attorney who is experienced in DUI cases.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 6/14/2011
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". If you had more than .08 BAC then you are guilty of DWI. It's a good think you fell asleep before you killed some innocent person or yourself. Perhaps next time you will take a cab if you are too drunk to drive. Drunk driving is like firing a gun at a moving train and hoping that you don't any of the passengers. You should retain an attorney to plead the case to an Impaired violation. You will lose your license for 90 days and pay a $500 fine. You may also have a dramatic increase in your insurance. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/13/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Unfortunately, yes it is possible, but it is also defensible if you fight it. Most jurors will not put up with such a thing and that may be the route you may have to go - to trial, so hire the best trial defense lawyer you can find and defend yourself. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    In Illinois, it is certainly legal IF the keys to the vehicle were in the ignition and you were in the driver's seat. It is "being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence" and you CAN be arrested in a private parking lot or anywhere in the State of Illinois, if behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition"! Contact an attorney for representation, you will need it.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    This sounds like a physical control charge which is very similar to DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    In WA this is possible if there was a key in the ignition - the question is driving or control. If there was no key in the ignition, no control and no DUI (in WA).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You can legally be convicted of DUI for sleeping in your car. DUI make no distinction as to driving under the influence and in possession of an automobile while under the influence, even if you are merely sleeping in the automobile.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If you were in the drivers seat and the keys are in the ignition the police can assume you drove to your stopping place in the condition they found you and arrest you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    The Sarbaugh Law Firm
    The Sarbaugh Law Firm | Bruce W. Sarbaugh
    In Colorado, the must be some evidence of an intent to operate the car. Although this can be a fact - specific issue, generally if the keys are in the ignition of your car, that's enough to show intent to drive. Unfortunately, there are many cases such as your where the person is arrested for a DUI even though they were asleep at the time, but the keys were in the ignition. However, there is another issue in your case which you should discuss with an attorney - what was the reason the cop approached your car in the first place? I would highly advise that you speak with a DUI attorney promptly about your case about both these issues.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    That's probably not a legal arrest depending on the state where you were and the other circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    It may be difficult for the state to prove, but the accusation could stick if they could show that you drove there while intoxicated, at least in Oregon, where I practice. I understand that in some states it is enough for the person to be "in physical control of the vehicle," meaning able to drive it, but in Oregon you actually have to be in the act of driving on a public roadway or premises open to the public. A parking lot usually qualifies as "premises open to the public." Whether the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were intoxicated when you got to the parking spot may depend on what you told them, what any witnesses told them etc.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    There may be some other factors at work here. You should talk to DUI attorney with police report.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    Can you be arrested? Yes. Can you be convicted? Yes, but the key is the driving. Who drove to the parking lot, and were they impaired when they drove there? If you became impaired after parking then the most you could be convicted of is drunk in public.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Sharifi & Baron
    Sharifi & Baron | S. Yossof Sharifi
    Yes, it's called an actual physical control DUI. A good attorney can win this case however (although they lose a frequent number too). Hire someone that has good experience with DUI's.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    You need to be driving to get a DUI. HOwever, it is also illegal to be in control of a vehicle while under the influence. If the keys were in the ignition and you were in the driver seat, you can be convicted of this offense.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    Yes. You may have a defense available if you can show you did not drive and did not intend to driver intoxicated, but you can be charged with DUI when sleeping in a car. Consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    While it would appear that the police, in our state, could charge someone, based upon the circumstantial evidence, it remains the state's burden to prove you were operating the motor vehicle (while under the influence). Therefore, I recommend you retain a criminal lawyer and discuss your rights and options, including the right to go to trial! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    In Georgia, where I practice, the prosecution must prove that you were driving or in actual physical control of a moving vehicle. In example, if you were very drunk, got into the car, sat behind the wheel, and started the engine, but did not drive even one inch, you would not be guilty of DUI. However, if you drove the car even one inch, then you would be guilty of DUI. The prosecution can attempt to prove driving by direct evidence (such as the testimony of someone who saw you driving) or circumstantial evidence (in example, being passed out behind the wheel in the middle of the roadway when found by the police).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Anderson & Carnahan
    Anderson & Carnahan | Stephen Anderson
    Yes you can be charged with DUI if in "physical control" of a vehicle. I would be glad to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    Yes, the law allows you to be charged with a DUI while in physical control of the vehicle. Therefore, if you had the keys to the vehicle while you were sleeping and were intoxicated you could be charged with DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Sorry, to say yes you can. The test is actual physical control of a car.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    This depends upon a number of criteria. For example, if your keys were in the ignition, police could reasonably assume that you had been driving or were intending to drive and if you were intoxicated, this could possibly be enough to charge you with DUI. Because of the complexity of the issue, you should consult with an attorney who will be able to make an assessment as to whether or not you were wrongfully arrested based upon the specific details of your case. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs | Craig Gibbs
    No, they have to prove that you were driving.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    It is certainly legal to sleep in a car while drunk. But the police always suspect that you were DUI when you drove there. They try to prove it by circumstantial evidence. They will look at: Was the engine warm Were the keys in the ignition? Is it your car? Were there passengers in the car? What did you say to them when confronted. Were there empty liquor containers in or around the car? It would pay to consult with an experienced lawyer before going to court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    You can be arrested but that does not mean you will be convicted. In Georgia, they have to prove that you were operating a moving vehicle while under the influence to convict you of DUI. If the police can prove that you drove the vehicle to the parking lot while drunk before you went to sleep then you could possibly be convicted, but sleeping in a vehicle while drunk is not illegal.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I would recommend consulting with a local criminal defense attorney in your particular area who has experience with these types of cases for specific legal advice. Effective council may have a significant impact in the outcome of your case. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations. If you cannot afford to retain an attorney, you may be eligible to have the court appoint an attorney to represent you at public expense. However, availability of court-appointed council depends on your court or state's particular procedures and policies. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty. This answer does not contain specific legal advice. Generally, a person charged with traffic criminal offenses may be able to file a motion to suppress evidence seized from the initial traffic stop or challenge their arrest by bringing a timely filed, thoroughly researched motion and presenting their motion at a hearing before the presiding judge. The prosecutor, of course, has an opportunity to file an answer and will generally challenge the validity of these motions. Occasionally, these motions may involve witness testimony as well. However, whether to file a motion depends on a person's particular, unique circumstances. Motions are a matter of trial strategy. An experienced criminal defense attorney generally does a thorough and careful review of the applicable case law, statutory law, and the presentable facts before filing. If a motion is not filed correctly or is without legal merit, a person could damage their case. If you need specific legal advice, I would recommend retaining an attorney or requesting that the court appoint you an attorney at the public's expense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    In Colorado one can be convicted of DUI if they are in the car and the keys are in the ignition. That being said, you definitely should consult with a lawyer who can review the police reports and give you an opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    It is a matter of proof. If it can be proven you were driving sometime earlier while under the influence you could be found guilty. On the other hand, any search of your car is questionable under these circumstances. You need an attorney who is a criminal law specialist to obtain the police report and analyze the case further.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Yes. Was it on private property? Did anyone see you drive? Did they check to see if car would start? Talk to local dui attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    If they can show that you were in control of the motor vehicle then it is possible to be charged. In this situation it would seem that you have a defense and should assert it with the help of an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Khayoumi Law Firm
    Khayoumi Law Firm | Salim A. Khayoumi
    Yes you can legally get a DUI/ DWI criminal charge for sleeping in a vehicle. Whether you are guilty of DUI/DWI while merely sleeping in your vehicle will depend on the law of the State where you were arrested. State laws vary regarding this issue ("control"). It's critical to consult with a licensed and experienced DUI/DWI criminal defense attorney from the state having jurisdiction over the criminal matter.
    Answer Applies to: New Mexico
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    It is possible to get charged with a DUI even though you were sleeping in your car when the officer arrived and subsequently arrested you. Often in these cases there great defenses, such as lack of probable cause for the officer to approach you in the first place, which will lead to the DUI getting dismissed. I have had success getting DUI charges dismissed in similar situations, see my website for more details. Regardless, you should consult with an attorney to discuss your case in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Yes. It depends on the totality of the circumstances. It is a question of proof. If the officer did not observe you driving, then that weakens the prosecution's case. You can, however, be convicted on circumstantial evidence if it is enough to convince a jury of your guilt. This type of case is going to be very fact driven. For example, if you drove to a bar, got drunk and then slept it off in your car without leaving, then you have a defense. If however, the facts were to show that you were drinking, drove to a parking lot while drunk and then fell asleep, then that would support a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Assume Oregon law applies: Was there evidence that you had been drinking in the car after you stopped the car? The assumption the police make is that you did not drive to the parking lot while sober, drink a bunch of alcohol while parked and then fall asleep because you enjoy sleeping in your car. It is entirely possible that you were not DUI, but that is not what the police presume; they have probably cause to believe you were DUI. Can they prove it; well that is different question; but can you overcome their presumptions with proof otherwise. You have a rough road ahead. I would suggest you get a lawyer involved.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    The issue raised is what constitutes operating for purposes of proving a DUI. In Michigan there is a body of case law on the subject, and it boils down to whether a jury believes that you were operating or immediately able to operate the vehicle. In some cases, sleeping it off, with other facts, has resulted in dismissal. In other cases, sleeping it off has resulted in convictions. So it will depend on a number of things. You would be well advised to hire an attorney to review your case and then explore possible strategies to best manage your case. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. A person may be charged with a DWI if they are capable of operating the vehicle. That means a person in a vehicle who is asleep, but who has keys, may be charged. There are defenses to the charge, however, including case precedent where the person has taken refuge in the vehicle or has arrived at the final destination.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    It is because they can establish that were drunk and could have driven at anytime.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    If the vehicle was operational, then yes. However, it may be a case that you want to try. There are probably jurors out there that would be reluctant to convict under those facts. Maybe, your lawyer can work out a good behavior deal where you stay out of trouble and the case is dismissed after six months to a year. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    Yes, it can be legal depending on whether you were behind the wheel and whether there were keys in the ignition. I'd suggest hiring a good defense attorney Asap in order to help defend your case... Contact us at the information below if you'd like to discuss your case further.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    If you were in the driver's seat with keys available or in the ignition then you were in physical control of the vehicle. There is no distinction between physical control and actual driving. However this may give you a better chance of getting a favorable plea deal or winning if you go to trial. But the law states physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated is a DUI misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Offices of Carl Spector
    Law Offices of Carl Spector | Carl Spector
    Yes you can be charged with a DUI having fallen asleep in your car. The issue that arises from being behind the wheel asleep is one of "operation" of the motor vehicle. Different states define operation differently. You should seek out a qualified criminal defense attorney that can analyze and advise you about your case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    In California, movement of the vehicle is required. If you were sleeping in the car, and no one saw you driving and there was no admission of driving, than you may have a good shot at getting a suppression motion granted or getting the case dismissed. You should speak with an attorney in your area to discuss the details of the arrest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    It happens. But sleeping cases often provide a great defense and, at the very least, you usually get a degree of sympathy since you did the right thing and pulled over (assuming you were safely parked.) Feel free to contact me - I've had a lot of luck with sleeping defenses!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    The Law Offices of Greg Gray
    The Law Offices of Greg Gray | Greg Gray
    Depends on what state you are in. In Texas if the vehicle is in park, you are probably OK. If the vehicle is not running, you are OK. If your foot was on the brake and the vehicle is in drive (which would be hard to do sleeping!) then it's going to be a fight. The key is "operating" a motor vehicle in a public place. A parking lot is considered a public place. Interesting question. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    If the car was running, yes. If not, and you didn't admit to driving, then you have a good defense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    The question is was the car running at the time? In some jurisdictions this is enough for "operating a vehicle". However merely using the car as a place to sleep it off does not rise to DUI. You should get an attorney and fight the matter.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
    There are two questions here: 1) Was it an illegal arrest? To arrest you for a misdemeanor, the officer must observe you breaking the law or a couple of traffic exceptions that a parked vehicle doesn't necessarily meet. 2) Can the DA prove that at some point earlier you were driving while intoxicated? Both are difficult cases for the prosecution. You'll want an attorney, but be careful not to hire some one cheap who's simply looking for an easy settlement you want someone who's fought these kinds of cases before.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Hello- As strange as this sounds, you can get a DUI while "sleeping it off" on the side of a public road. According to law enforcement, the "key" to this type of case is whether your keys were in the ignition. If they were not, then the charge may not hold up. Unfortunately, law enforcement has the discretion to charge you with what they want. I hope this answers your question-if not let me know.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Yes. Especially if you were behind the wheel at the time. Of course you can fight it. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a 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. While this isn't a 'capital case', you certainly face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict and jail you. 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. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be. Keep in mind a little free advice: When you are arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking you were given documents that included 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 hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
    You have to be DRIVING while intoxicated. Assuming you were intoxicated, they have to prove that you were DRIVING while under the influence. It sounds like they'll have an uphill battle.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    At least in Texas, there is some law which would support your arrest. If a jury were to find that you were "operating" a motor vehicle - say perhaps you had the car running with the air conditioning on - then you could be convicted. However, I would hire a lawyer and fight the case. Law enforcement is constantly encouraging people not to drive while intoxicated. If a person makes the decision not to drive and instead sleeps in the car, I believe they should be rewarded for a good decision rather than punished. A prosecutor may well agree.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    That is possible. Otherwise a lot of people may pretend to be asleep if a cop caught them in a car "asleep".
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    Yes, people often get arrested for DUI sleeping in their car if they have the keys in their possession and the officer has probable cause that they have been drinking.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    The Law Office of Randall S. Woodard
    The Law Office of Randall S. Woodard | Randall Scott Woodard
    In can be a lawful arrest and charge. The question the court has to determine is if you were what the law defines as being "In actual physical control of the vehicle." Meaning could you drive the vehicle. The question often comes down to where the keys to the vehicle were and whether they were accessible to you. The court is very strict here, a man was convicted sleeping in the backseat when the keys were in the center console. You may have other defenses though. Good luck, I was a prosecutor for 19 years so I appreciate the difference a good lawyer can make. Please do not hesitate to call me if I can be of any assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    Typically the police must prove that a person was in actual physical control, or driving, a vehicle, while impaired by reason of alcohol or with a sufficiently high BAC level, as set out by statute. Depending on the facts of the case your attorney may be able to argue that you were not in control of the vehicle, if you were merely sleeping in it. The government has the burden of proof and of course you should hire a DUI attorney so that your case can be managed effectively from the beginning.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    Potentially, yes. Depends upon what state you're in. A consultation with an experienced DUI attorney where you can explain all of the facts can let you know what your possible defenses are.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    It depends on how your state defines "operation." In Connecticut, if you are sitting in the driver seat and the keys are in the ignition, you can be charged with dui.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Bruce H. Lehr, P.A.
    Bruce H. Lehr, P.A. | Bruce H. Lehr
    Yes. DUI includes being in actual physical control of a vehicle. That means with the present ability to drive.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    No, but you will need a good lawyer to prove it. Without an attorney fighting for you, you will still be charged based on circumstantial evidence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    Yes. Alabama law requires that you be in control of the vehicle, not necessarily driving it. You need to hire an attorney as soon as possible, because some options available to you may have a time limit.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It depends on the facts. If there is reason to believe that you were operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while intoxicated, then yes. For example, if the police found you on the side of a public road, intoxicated, in the driver's seat with the keys in the ignition, that would be enough to make a good faith argument to the jury that that was circumstantial evidence of your guilt. Whatever the case, you need to retain an experienced DUI attorney to review the police report and chemical results. There may be errors or holes in the case that could get the charges reduced or dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Depends if the police can show operation of the car - a broad legal term. Were the keys in the ignition? If YES, the DA has a case depending on the officer's observations of your appearance and your breath test results, if any.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/10/2011
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