Why You Can Be Charged With A DUI Even Without Driving Your Car

Posted on: 20 October 2021

A DUI is somewhat of a misnomer. While it is called "Driving Under the Influence," you are sometimes able to be charged with a DUI even if you are not currently operating your motor vehicle. You can be charged with the crime even if you are not seen operating the vehicle.

Physical Control of a Vehicle Under the Influence

You are able to be charged with a crime even if your vehicle is not in motion as long as you were in physical control of the vehicle while under the influence. Therefore, if you are a passenger, you are not under threat of prosecution, but if it is clear that you were the driver, you may be charged with a crime.

One example of this is if you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and you realized that you were not able to safely operate the vehicle. You may then pull over to rest until you are sober. However, a police officer might still take you into custody and pursue legal charges if they discover that you are intoxicated.

Types of Substances That Can Lead to a DUI

If your blood alcohol or THC is above the legal limit, and you had actual physical control of the vehicle, you may face charges. You could also receive a DUI for being under the influence of other types of drugs that can affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle such as illegal substances or prescription pain killers.

How to Respond to a DUI

If you are being charged with a DUI, you must contact DUI attorney services immediately. You may be able to have your charges reduced or dismissed. For example, you may be able to argue that your car was very far from the road and that you couldn't have been operating your vehicle and were merely sitting inside it. The location of your car keys can also play a role in your case. 

Whether or not you will be found guilty depends on the facts of your case and it's important to do everything possible to have your DUI charges dismissed. Not only will you be able to avoid fines and a jail sentence, but you will also be able to avoid having your license suspended, being forced to take driving courses, and facing worse penalties if you are charged with another DUI in the future.