Many people wonder if they can still be charged for DUI if they’re in a parked vehicle. Although it may sound odd, the answer is yes, you can get DUI-related charges if you’re in a parked car. You can even get DUI-related charges even sometimes outside of your vehicle.
Even if your car isn’t in motion, the law under the Supreme Court ruled you can still get a DUI without driving. If you ended up getting a DUI-related charge while your car was parked, time to seek an Oregon DUI attorney.
When an officer notices a person in their car, even if the vehicle is parked, and they determine that the person had the intent to drive, they may end pressing DUI charges. This happens more often than you think. Your attorney would have to be extremely skilled to prove that you didn’t have the intention to drive, even though you were in your parked vehicle (resting or sleeping).
These DUI charges without driving, often happen late at night or in the early morning hours, mainly in parking lots of night clubs, fast-food restaurants, bars, or even private properties. People decide to sleep in their cars instead of driving and that is entirely all right. However, the new DUI laws are very strict with rules for how to sleep in a parked car after drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana.
Reasons for DUI In Parked Vehicle
There are several reasons why an officer may decide that you should be cited for DUI when you’re in a parked car.
Sleeping in the Driver’s Seat
Even though you decided to park your car and sleep, picking the driver’s seat to sleep is a bad choice. If the officer sees you in this position, they will rightfully assume that you sat behind the wheel with the intention of driving.
The officer can’t know if you’re passed out, asleep or just tired.
This type of DUI without operating charge often happens when another person reports a sleeping person in the driver’s seat of a parked vehicle. In most cases like this when an officer didn’t actually witness the defendant driving and arrests them after someone reported them for sleeping in their car, the defendant is in a good chance of winning the case in court because of lack of evidence.
Car Keys in the Ignition
Having your car parked with the keys in the ignition doesn’t mean that you haven’t tried to start your car and drive away. The keys being in the ignition show a clear intention of driving when you entered the car (at least this is what the officer would think).
If you get charged with DUI without driving, the best legal defenses to help you drop charges are based on police report technicalities. Your defense can argue on the officer’s bias of DUI about the intent you had of operating a parked vehicle.
The Appearance of Intent to Drive
Maybe you tried to start your car, but then decided to sleep it off? Or, maybe you realized that it would be smarter if you nap and sober up a bit before continuing your way. You could even move to the back seat to sleep.
However, if you have left the keys in the ignition (as mentioned before) and left your lights on while sobering up, things will get challenging.
Even if you’re in the passenger or back seat, an officer can make a reasonable assumption that you had the intention of driving, and can cite you for a DUI. This type of DUI arrest often happens when a person is parked while eating after a night out or in a drive-thru.
Arrested for DUI in a Parked Vehicle? Call Trilogy Law Group Right Away
Don’t be surprised to see police officers that are on a late DUI patrol checking drive-thru parking lots.
No matter what happens, keep in mind that DUI without proof of driving can’t end up bad for you. Your defense has good chances of success in such cases. The police have to prove that you were driving or had the intent to drive. This is not always easy.
Just be sure to have a strong legal defense that will prove that you didn’t have the intention to drive and did the right thing by deciding to sleep for a while.
Having the right lawyer is crucial in such cases. Make sure you hire a skilled, experienced, and trustworthy person. Our team of DUI lawyers at Trilogy Law will help you with your case.