Say that you’re out with friends, enjoying a few drinks. You didn’t expect to have so much, but you realize at the end of the night that you are in no condition to drive. You have no idea what your blood alcohol concentration is, but you’re impaired.
You don’t want to get a DUI, and you certainly don’t want to cause a car accident. What you decide to do is to climb into your car, sleep for a little while and then drive home when you’re no longer impaired. This seems like a safe and prudent decision for you to make, especially in your current condition.
Why you could still be charged
Unfortunately, there are many situations in which the police can still charge you with DUI if they find you sleeping in your car. Most of these occur when it appears that you were recently in control of the vehicle or that you could be at any moment. In fact, some officers may believe that you were not really asleep at all, but you were simply driving under the influence and you pulled over in an attempt to avoid charges.
For example, people have often been charged if they leave the keys in the ignition. Even if you lean the seat back all the way and the car is clearly in park, without the vehicle moving at all, the police may say that you were still in control of the vehicle because of the keys’ position.
As you can see, drunk driving charges are definitely possible even if you weren’t driving. If something like this happens to you, it can come as a shock. You need to know what legal steps to take next.