Can Police Arrest You for DWI While Sleeping?

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DWI Lawyer Salt Lake City UT

Can Police Arrest You for DWI While Sleeping?Many people are under the mistaken impression that they cannot be arrested for drunk driving if they are pulled over and sleeping in their car. But in some states, you may still be charged with DWI if an officer finds you there.

If you have been charged with DWI while sleeping in your vehicle, contact a seasoned DWI lawyer from Rasmussen & Miner to find out how we can help defend you against those charges.

How to Avoid DWI While Sleeping Charges

In some states, you can still be arrested for DWI even if you are not actually driving the vehicle. This is because the law stipulates that it is not just operating a vehicle while drunk, but having physical control of the vehicle that will result in a DWI charge. In most cases, the law simply means that the person charged had the ability to operate the vehicle. The vehicle does not need to be in motion for the person to be charged. They do not even have to have intent to move the vehicle, but can still find themselves with handcuffs on and in the back of a police cruiser.

The question that a DWI lawyer will try to argue in these cases is what exactly the definition of physical control is as it applies to their client’s charges. Some of the key questions a Salt Lake City UT attorney may ask include:

  •        Was the driver sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle?
  •        Was the driver physically capable of operating the vehicle?
  •        Was the key in the ignition of the vehicle?

Avoiding a DWI When Trying to “Sleep It Off”

The irony in many of these cases is that the driver – realizing they may have had too much to drink to drive – pulls over to a safe place to sleep it off before they head home. Instead, they still find themselves arrested and charged, even though they were trying to do the right thing.

A DWI lawyer from Rasmussen & Miner has a few suggestions that you should consider in these situations. If you find you are not sober, ask a friend who is to drive you home. If no one you know is available, consider taking a cab or an Uber, or walk home if you are close enough.

If you do not have any other options but to stay in your vehicle, then make it as obvious as possible that you had no intention of driving. Put the vehicle keys in the glove box and sit or lay down in the back seat, not the front seat. This way, if an officer does come by, they would have a very hard time proving to a jury that you intended were in physical control of your vehicle.

Contact Rasmussen & Miner Today

No matter what the circumstances were in your case, if you have been charged with drunk driving, contact Rasmussen & Miner today to set up a free consultation with a skilled DWI lawyer Salt Lake City UT clients recommend.