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Can I Get A DUI Without Driving?

The simple answer to this question is yes, you can. It has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you intended to drive the vehicle, if you are impaired and are caught by a police officer in your car, you will get a DUI.

Actual Physical Control

There was a story a while ago about a Florida man was listening to music late at night when his roommate began complaining. Unwilling to turn his music down, he went out to his car to listen to his music after having been drinking. Deputies ended up knocking at his window and decided to conduct a field sobriety test, which he failed. He was promptly arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Many people have been charged with DUI’s even when sleeping in their vehicles because they understood they were too impaired to drive.

The reason people can be charged with a DUI without actually driving their vehicle is if they, by legal standards, are in “actual physical control” of any vehicle. The man with the loud music was considered to be in actual physical control of his vehicle because he had his keys in the ignition to allow his music to play.

The definition of “actual physical control” of a vehicle is: the defendant must be physically in or on the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of if he or she operated the vehicle at the time.

Being in actual physical control of a vehicle doesn’t mean you had any intention to drive; you could have the keys in the ignition for heat or AC. You can even be charged with a DUI if your keys are on your person while you are in the car, and not even near the ignition.

DUI Defense

If you have been charged with a DUI, whether or not you were driving, you need a criminal defense lawyer on your side immediately. You will most likely lost your license for a period of time and be expected to attend DUI classes. Usually you will have to pay a steep fine, court fees, and an increase in car insurance. Have a criminal defense lawyer help you get your charges lessened.

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