How can I be charged with DUI when I wasn’t driving?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2020 | Firm News

You may be shocked to know that you can be charged with a DUI just for sitting in the driver’s seat of your car. After all, the first letter in DUI stands for “driving.” However, the language of the law is not limited to the actual driving of the vehicle.

Florida law considers a driver to be “any person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle.” If you’re sitting in the driver’s seat, an officer may believe that you have physical control of the car. The good news is you can still fight these charges in court.

These cases often come down to your car keys

If your vehicle is in park, but the engine is running, the prosecution has a pretty strong case for showing you had physical control of your car. There is also a strong presumption you were in physical control of your keys were in the ignition.

Charges tend to be a bit weaker the further away you are from your keys. Keeping them in your pocket may not be far enough. Keeping them in your glove box is better.

Regardless of where your keys happened to be at the time of your arrest, you can still raise other defenses against a DUI charge. You should discuss all of your options with a skilled legal professional.

If you can’t drive, call a ride

When you’ve had one too many, it can be tempting to sleep it off in your vehicle. However, what may look like a responsible choice can still land you in hot water. If you’ve had too much to drink, it’s best for everyone to call for a sober ride home. Your car will still be where you left it the next day.