What if I'm under the influence and I just want to sleep it off in the car - can I get a DUI?
The short answer is yes.
Under FS. 316.193 (the DUI Statute): A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and the person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, or any chemical substance.
What is Actual Physical Control?
The courts in Florida have held “where the defendant was in the driver's seat of a car that was stationary in the roadway with the keys in the ignition and the lights on, finding that, since the defendant had “placed himself behind the wheel of the vehicle and could have at any time started the automobile and driven away,” he was in actual physical control of the vehicle. Griffin v. State 457. S.2d 1070.
So If you are in actual physical control of your vehicle when an officer pulls you over or sees you on the side of the road, even though the car is not on, you can actually be found guilty of DUI.
If you're in the back seat and you've got a key fob or you have even the keys on you and you have the ability to operate that vehicle, you COULD be found guilty of a DUI. So, if you ask me can you sleep off on the side of the road in the backseat the answer's no. If you're in that situation, pull off to the side of the road, get out, get an Uber, call a taxi, and do not be near your car.
If you have any questions about an arrest, please contact my Palm Beach County office today. I'm here to help you protect your rights when you are facing DUI charges.
Whether you are facing a DUI yet or not, "What You Must Know About Your DUI Case Before You Do Anything" provides valuable information about your rights and responsibilities as a driver in Florida. Download it today!