Can I Be Convicted for DUI Even if I Wasn’t Driving a Car?

It’s illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in all 50 states. But what if you weren’t actually driving the car at the time of your interrogation or arrest? Things start to get a little more nuanced!

Can I Be Convicted?

To quickly get to the point, you can absolutely get charged with DUI even if you weren’t driving at the time of your arrest. Most often, this takes place when drivers are parked in their car, but not actually driving it.

The key determining factor here is whether the driver in question was deemed “in control” of the vehicle. That means that if you are in your driver’s seat with access to your car keys, you could potentially be charged with a DUI, but not driving. If your keys are in the ignition but the car is off, you could be charged with DUI with intent to drive (this results in the same charge). With this in mind, we recommend never “sleeping it off” in your car. A better option would be to rely on a friend or rideshare service to get you home safely.

Defending Yourself

If you happen to be charged with a DUI while not driving, there are a few avenues you can explore with your attorney when building a defense. For starters, you’ll want to explore methods of proving you had no intent to drive. Were you simply outside of your vehicle? It would be hard to argue that you had intentions to drive if that were the case. Even if you were inside of your car, perhaps a friend or family member was in possession of your keys? In this case, they would be the one deemed in control of the vehicle. Ultimately, the nuances of each situation may present opportunities to prove innocence.

We Can Help You Avoid a DUI or DWI Conviction or Minimize Your Punishment

There are facts about each specific case that can significantly reduce penalties if an experienced attorney who understands this area of law presents the case. The Law Office of Elizabeth A. Lawrence offers high-quality legal representation, personal attention, and professionalism to help defend the harsh penalties of DWIs, DUIs, and other serious traffic offenses in Maryland and District of Columbia. Click here or call (410) 986-0088 to consult with an experienced attorney today.

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    Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence, LLC.
  • Address: 90 Painters Mill Road Suite 201 Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
  • Phone: (443) 352-3201

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