It is a commonly held belief that an individual can receive a DUI even though they aren’t actually physical control of the vehicle. defending DUI cases While that can be the case, there is actually a very precise legal definition of what can constitute a DUI. The most relevant part of the statute is the part about the driver being in “actual physical control” of the vehicle while intoxicated. In order for a driver to be in actual physical control of the vehicle, the officer at the scene must look at the totality of the circumstances including the following three factors. First the officer should establish whether the engine, ignition, and lights were on at the time. Next, the officer must look at the location of the vehicle. The location of the vehicle is very important. If the vehicle was in the middle of a road (moving or not moving) and not off to the side, that would be a pretty clear indication that the driver was in actual physical control of the vehicle.
The last factor when it comes to determining if a defendant in a DUI case is in actual physical control of a vehicle is very broad and is simply any other evidence that would indicate to the officer that the driver had driven the vehicle prior to the arrival of police. DUI marijuana For instance, let’s say that an officer arrives on the scene and finds a vehicle that is off, on the side of the road and finds an individual asleep in the passenger’s seat. There are no other individuals are present at the time, there is vomit outside the vehicle, and once the officer makes contact with the individual, they are visibly impaired. All of the previously mentioned indicators (visible intoxication, absence of others, and presence of vomit), could be considered as evidence that the driver had previously driven the vehicle prior to the arrival of police. While the commonly held belief that an individual can be charged with a DUI even though they aren’t driving is not necessarily wrong, it is important to note that there is a very precise legal definition of what does and does not constitute a DUI. If you have been charged with a DUI it is important to seek legal representation who can help you sift through the facts of your case and determine a defense. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Kelly and Conte are experienced attorneys who will fight for the best possible outcome given the facts of your particular case.