Understand Your Rights After a DUI Charge

Many people who realize they have had too many drinks after a night out with friends decide to sleep in their vehicles until they are sober in the morning. While this might seem like a responsible decision that would be encouraged by law enforcement, it is actually still an illegal act that could be grounds for a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest.

If you were shocked to find yourself facing DUI charges after doing what you thought was the safe choice, you can get legal help from Boulahanis & Associates, a Detroit area law firm with more than 30 years of legal experience.

What is Actual Physical Control?

In order to be arrested for a DUI, the police must show that you were in “actual physical control” of your vehicle. This definition does not explicitly state that you must have been driving a vehicle or even be seen driving a vehicle. It only states that you reasonably had the ability to drive a car, may have just driven or was likely about to drive it.

Actual physical control breaks down into three requirements:

  1. In control of a vehicle's key or starting ignition component.
  2. The vehicle started by that key is in operable condition.
  3. Intoxicated individual was inside the vehicle (not including trunk space).

The most complicated component of actual physical control is the first: being in control of a vehicle's key. You could feasibly put the key on top of your car and sleep in the back seat to sober up and still get a DUI because you would have been found inside the vehicle and the key was in your control, despite being outside the vehicle.

If you are too intoxicated to drive safely, the best bet is still to call a taxi to get home. If you have a smartphone, consider using a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft.

Remember: An Arrest is Not a Conviction

It is important to remember that any DUI arrest is not a DUI conviction. You still have time to protect yourself from criminal penalties and to keep your driving privilege. Our attorneys at Boulahanis & Associates are well-versed in even the most complicated and intricate of DUI cases and laws.

Call 313-277-2550 to speak with an attorney if you were arrested while sleeping behind the wheel of your parked car.