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DUIs While Parked

Is it possible to get a DUI if you weren't driving at the time of your arrest?

While it doesn't happen incredibly often, some people are arrested for drunk driving while sitting in a parked car, but is it legal? Let's take a look at the California Vehicle Code § 23152, which states that it is against the law to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This is California's DUI statute, yet it says nothing about parked car DUIs.

However, police can still lawfully arrest someone in a parked car for driving under the influence in some circumstances. There are a few ways they can do this –

1. Intention to Drive

It is not uncommon for police to wait outside of bars and restaurants to watch for inebriated people getting into the driver's seat. If a police officer gathered enough visual evidence to believe you were intoxicated, then witnessed you getting into the driver's seat of a vehicle, they may arrest you for DUI.

2. Deduced DUI

The easiest way to explain this type of DUI arrest is with an example. Say Joe had a few drinks at a local bar and then got in his car to drive home. On his drive home, Joe realized that it probably wasn't safe for him to drive, so he pulled off the road into a parking lot to sleep it off. While in the parking lot, a police officer questions Joe and arrests him for DUI. The police officer deduced, based on the evidence, that in order to get from point A to point B, Joe would have driven while drunk.

3. Car Was Running, but Stopped

The definition of "driving" is incredibly important in parked car DUI cases. Even if the car is in park,or your foot is on the break, if the engine is running and you are intoxicated in the driver's seat, you could be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

If you were arrested for drunk driving while your car was parked, contact an Orange County DUI attorney at Gold & Witham for defense today!

Categories: DUI, California DUI Laws


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