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Four Things You Should Know About A Possible DUI When Sleeping It Off In Your Car

by Theresa Hoffman

You would think that it's not possible to be arrested for driving under the influence while sleeping in your car; however, it happens, and it can happen to you. If you are ever in a situation where you find yourself on the verge of being arrested for a DUI while sleeping in your car, the following are a few things you should know:

Your confession may be enough for a DUI conviction

If you wake up in your car to the sound of a police officer, and they suspect that you were drinking, they are likely to ask you if you were driving. Even though you are no longer driving because you have confessed to a DUI, and are clearly drunk now, this confession can be used to convict you. Without this confession, the case becomes circumstantial.

Where your car keys were is important

There's a big difference between your car keys being in your pocket and being in the ignition. If they were in the ignition, you left them there because you were too drunk to take them out of the ignition. An attorney could argue that you put them in the ignition, then realized you couldn't drive, so you took a nap. It is plausible but less believable than the first explanation.

Where you were sleeping can be important

In addition to your keys is the issue of where you were sleeping in your car. When the police officer approached your vehicle, whether you were in the front seat or in the back seat is important. If you were in the back seat, although it is possible you were driving before you slept, clearly you meant to sleep and did not simply pass out in the front seat before driving. If you were sleeping in the back seat with your car keys in your pocket, an attorney will have the best chance of defending you against a DUI charge.

Where you were parked is important

If your car was parked in an area that couldn't remotely be considered a place where a sober person would park their car, this may be strong evidence that you were driving while intoxicated. On the other hand, if you were parked legally on the side of the road, this can be consistent with not drinking and driving. Better yet, if your car was in a parking lot, an attorney will have an even better chance of defending you against a DUI.

Obviously, you should never sleep in your car after drinking. But if you have been arrested for doing so, and you have been arrested for a DUI, do not confess to drinking and driving. An attorney may be able to win your case. 

For more information, reach out to a DUI lawyer near you.