Blogs from July, 2021

man sleeping against steering wheel

Can I Be Charged With DUI While Sleeping In My Car?

DUI stands for driving under the influence. Just based on those four words, you would assume that you cannot get a DUI if you aren’t driving. However, that is not actually the case. It is in fact possible to get a non-driving DUI.

Non-Driving DUI

Sleeping in your car seems like a safer option than driving under the influence. However, if you are found resting in your vehicle while intoxicated, you can be charged with DUI.

In order for this to happen, though, the officer must first prove that you recently drove the vehicle. In other words, simply being asleep in your car will not cause you to get DUI charges. But, if the officer can prove you drove while intoxicated prior to stopping, you may be in trouble. There are certain factors that, under specific circumstances, may alert officers that you were recently driving.

Location of Keys

If your car keys are in the ignition, in your hand, or somewhere else in the vehicle that would indicate they were recently used to start the car, this may indicate that you had driven the vehicle.

Warm Parts of the Car

After a car has been running, certain parts start to heat up.
This could include the engine, hood, and/or tires. If there is warmth radiating from the vehicle, the officer can use that to prove you recently drove.

Where You’re Sleeping

Whether you are sleeping in the front or back seat matters. If you are sleeping in the front seat, the officer can assume that you were driving, then found a place to park and take a nap. Even if you hadn’t driven, the officer can assume that because you’re in the driver’s seat, you had the intent to drive.

Avoid Non-Driving DUI

If you choose to ‘sleep it off’ in your car after a fun night:

  • Sleep in the backseat
  • Keep the engine off
  • Park legally
  • Store the keys far away from your body

Taking these precautions can prevent law enforcement from being able to make a case that you were driving.

Orange County DUI Attorneys

Making the responsible choice to wait until you’re sober to drive should not result in criminal charges. If you are facing DUI charges, contact Law Offices of Randy Collins today. Our experienced attorneys will review the circumstances of your case and fight for your rights.