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Warning: You Can Be Arrested For Drunk Driving Even If You Were Not Driving

 Posted on May 04, 2023 in DUI

Wheaton Criminal LawyerConsider the following scenario: A woman goes out to a bar with her friends after work. One glass of wine quickly turns into an entire bottle, and before she knows it, she is too intoxicated to drive home. In order to avoid the chances of being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), she decides to sleep in her car for a few hours and then drive home once she has sobered up. However, she soon wakes up to a knock at her window and a police officer arrests her for drunk driving.

Situations like these often come as a shock to a DUI defendant. Most people do not realize that they can be arrested for and charged with DUI even if they were not actually driving the car. Whether you or a loved one has been charged with drunk driving or you simply want to be informed about your rights, it is essential to understand Illinois law regarding driving under the influence.

Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle

It is not unheard of for somebody to sleep or rest in their car - especially during the warm summer months. However, if you have consumed alcohol, marijuana, or another controlled substance, the mere act of sitting in your vehicle can lead to a DUI charge.

Illinois law states that being in “actual physical control” of a vehicle while intoxicated is illegal. If you are sitting in the driver's seat and have the car keys nearby, police may argue that you are in actual physical control of the vehicle and could start driving at any point.

Avoid Driving Under the Influence Charges

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are too intoxicated to drive, your best option is likely to get a ride with a sober friend or call a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft. However, if you have no other option than to sleep in your vehicle, make sure that you do not give the police an excuse to arrest you for driving under the influence. Do not have your keys on you, and avoid sleeping in the driver’s seat. Police officers and prosecutors will have a much harder time arguing that you were in actual physical control of the vehicle if your keys were left inside the building or were given to a non-drinking friend.

Contact our DuPage County Drunk Driving Defense Lawyers

If you or a loved one were charged with driving under the influence, contact our Wheaton DUI defense attorneys for help. Call Davi Law Group, LLC at 630-580-6373 to set up a free consultation.



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