Can I Get a DUI Even Though I’m Not Driving?

Posted February 24th, 2016 by .

Categories: Criminal Defense.

dui while sleeping anthony carboneWe all know that you can get arrested for driving while intoxicated. But what if you’re behind the wheel of a parked car? Can you still get a DUI when you’re not actually driving your car?

Here’s a scenario: After a long night of partying at your favorite drinking establishment, you are ready to head home. You get behind the wheel but decide it would be a bad idea to drive home. Instead, you decide to take a small nap to sober up before driving home. A few minutes later, you hear a tapping on your window. You look up and see a police officer who is telling you to get out of the car. Next thing you know you’re being arrested for a DUI. But how?

According to New Jersey law, you can receive a DUI if you are found operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. However, there is no specific definition to what it means to operate a vehicle. It all depends on the location of the driver, the vehicle, and the keys at the time. So even if you didn’t start the vehicle when you took your nap, because you are behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition, it is implied that you were operating the vehicle at some point in your current condition.

So if you want to take a nap in your car to sober up, that’s perfectly fine. Just remember – don’t sit behind the wheel and don’t turn on the ignition. Or just call a taxi.

If this situation sounds familiar, you may be able to fight your DUI charge. But first, you’re going to need an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.

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