Planning To Sleep It Off In Your Vehicle? Here Are Some Things To Do
If you're under the influence of alcohol and are in your vehicle, you don't necessarily have to be operating it to get charged with DUI. Although the laws differ from state to state, it's possible for a police officer to charge you if you're in your vehicle but aren't technically driving it. This can be problematic, and it's worthwhile to look up the laws in your specific state so that you avoid such an issue. If you're not sure of your state's laws and your only option after drinking is to sleep in your vehicle, here are some steps that you should take.
Have A Friend Park It
When you're headed to your vehicle after a night of drinking, assess where the vehicle is situated. In certain areas, your vehicle may attract more attention than in others. For example, if it's parked on a street near a bar, a passing police officer may be more inclined to look inside it than if it were parked in a large parking lot. It may be valuable to move the vehicle, but you should never do it yourself. Instead, have a sober friend move your vehicle into what you deem to be a better location.
Get Into The Backseat
If you're in the front seat asleep with a high blood alcohol content, a police officer who detains you may understandably suspect that you've just been driving and have recently fallen asleep. If you're going to be sleeping in your vehicle after drinking, it's a better idea to get into the backseat. Not only is this more comfortable because it provides more room, but if you're lying down, you'll be less apparent to any passing officer. Additionally, should you get charged, your DUI attorney will have an easier time arguing that you weren't driving because of how you were situated.
Keep The Keys Out Of The Ignition
You might be tempted to warm up the car if it's cool outside or to listen to the radio, but as soon as you stick your key into the ignition, it's easier for a police officer to make the argument that you were driving. Always keep the keys out of the ignition and, when possible, keep them zipped up in a coat pocket or placed in your purse. The less they're within reach, the easier it will be for your attorney to convince the court that you weren't driving and had no intention of doing so.