It can happen. Keys not in ignition, but still arrest for a DUI in Maryland!
Last night I was arrested for a DUI/DWI after going to a concert in Gaithersburg, Montgomery County, Maryland. I gave my friend the my keys and I opted to sleep it off in my car . Additionally, I wanted to protect myself further by disconnecting my battery. Is there any chance I could get my case dismissed? Or should I take a shot at trial? Please let me know your thoughts, as I am absolutely terrified! Thank you.
How did I get arrest for drunk driving if keys not in ignition?
You need a Maryland DUI/DWI attorney. If the keys not in ignition and the battery was disconnected, then you have a defense that you weren’t driving or in actual physical control of your vehicle.
You need to also request a MVA hearing to prevent the suspension of your license. You may have a defense at the MVA hearing as well.
The State’s Attorney’s Office must prove that you operated a motor vehicle while impaired or under the influence of alcohol. Maryland courts have held that “operating” means having control and that is not just limited to driving.
Maryland case law holds that there are many factors that go into a decision whether you could be found to have been in sufficient control of the vehicle to be constructively “driving” it for the purpose of a DWI/DUI. If you were asleep in the car, it matters where in the car you were and where the keys were (and if the car was running which obviously it was not), and the fact that the car was disabled would also be relevant.
It sounds like you have a very good chance of winning a trial based on the facts stated but a full evaluation of all the facts according to you and more importantly according to the police who will be the State’s witnesses against you is needed to be sure.
No need to be terrified! Assuming this is your first offense, this will be manageable whether you are found guilty or not guilty. Try and relax, go see someone soon and you will no doubt feel better!
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The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is located in Carroll County, Maryland. Maryland DUI Attorney Ross W. Albers is a former Baltimore City DWI prosecutor that knows what you’re up against. The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is a member of the National College for DUI Defense. In 2016, Carroll County DUI Attorney Ross W. Albers was recognized by Maryland Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Criminal Defense: DUI.