The short answer is: Yes. You can get a DUI even if your car is in park. Now, you may be thinking, “But I’m not even driving!” Well, that may be so. However, if the prosecution can prove you were about to drive, or you had just been driving, you’re going to be convicted.
How Can I Be “Driving Under the Influence” if I’m not Driving?
A DUI can be issued if the police have reason to believe you were driving under the influence and then stopped or you were about to drive under the influence. For example, if you’re parked on the side of the highway and you take a breathalyzer test that puts you above the .08 BAC, then one would assume you had been driving under the influence to get to the side of the highway. Your car certainly didn’t teleport.
Can I Sleep It Off in the Car?
You can certainly try to sleep off the alcohol in your car before you drive home, but you can still run the risk of being charged with a DUI. For example, if you’re sleeping in the front seat of your car with the keys in or near the ignition, then you’re going to be highly suspicious. The police may conclude you intended to drive and thus, you’ll get slapped with an “attempted DUI.”
That being said, if you’re still in the bar’s parking lot, in the back seat of the car, then the police’s argument for probable cause is going to be a lot less likely to stick. Probable cause is all about context, but it’s probably better to just call an Uber and pick up your car the next day than risk getting a DUI.
It All Comes Down to “Actual Physical Control”
In the state of Maryland, you can be charged with a DUI if the prosecution can prove you were in”Actual Physical Control” of the vehicle. What this means is if it looks like you had done any driving or you were about to do some driving under the influence of alcohol then you will be punished regardless of whether or not you were driving at the time you were discovered.
There are a number of factors which go into determining whether or not you were in actual physical control of the vehicle and they are as follows:
- Was the engine running or the ignition engaged?
- Where was the accused within the vehicle?
- Was the accused awake?
- Where were the keys within the vehicle?
- Were the headlights on?
- Where is the vehicle located?
Ross W. Albers is a Highly Experienced DUI Attorney in Maryland
If you’re looking for legal counsel for your DUI charges, then look no further than Ross W. Albers. Give us a call at (443) 543-8517 today for more information on how you can set up a free consultation.