Can I Get Arrested For A DUI, Even If I’m Not Driving?

DUI, Lake In The Hills DUI, Lawyer in McHenry County

Question:  Do you know that you can get a DUI, even if you’re not driving?  The answer is Yes!
Let’s say you just came out of a bar at night, drunk.  You enter your car, start the car, and turn on the radio and air-conditioner, with no intention of driving.  If a cop has reasonable articulable suspicion to make contact with you, the cop could charge you with a DUI.  Now you’re asking “why,” wondering, “where is the logic?”
Well, according to Illinois law, being in control of the car while impaired is sufficient to be charged with a DUI.  In that case, it constitutes “Actual Physical Control.”  Although this varies from state to state, if you were impaired and sleeping in your car, and a cop had reasonable articulable suspicion to make contact with you, the cop could wake you up, assess whether or not you had consumed alcohol or ingested drugs, and ask you to get out of the car to perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.  Depending on the Officer’s observations of you, and your performance on the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, the cop could charge you with a DUI.
A More Difficult Scenario
If, perhaps, you were in the driver’s seat, with the keys dangling in the ignition, or perhaps, the keys somewhat accessible, it would be hard to argue that you were not in actual physical control of the car.
Get Legal Representation
If you were arrested for DUI, even when you were not driving, you must seek an experienced DUI defense attorney.  In court, the judge, or a jury, would decide what “Actual Physical Control” means.  Your DUI defense lawyer might be able to create reasonable doubt in the eyes of the judge or jury.  A judge, or jury, may be reluctant to find someone guilty of a DUI, especially if they think that you had no intention to drive.  You must ensure that you retain the best DUI or criminal defense lawyer for this type of case.  If you’re on this page because you are already on the web, and have already been arrested and charged with a DUI, based upon this fact pattern, then book an appointment with us now!
For more information or to receive help in your case, contact Franks & Rechenberg, P.C. today.