Can I Be Charged with DUI While Sleeping in My Car and Drunk?

To answer this question, you must have a clear understanding of the rule regarding you, alcohol, and how you control your car or vehicle.

Often the acronym DUI proves to be misleading in West Virginia. The offender gets charged for “drunk driving.” However, the police have the right to incriminate those who are not observed to be driving the vehicle. According to the law of West Virginia, a person can be charged with DUI when he or she is deemed to be physically in control of the vehicle. Maybe you are not driving the car. But being intoxicated and inside the car can cause DUI charges as you will be deemed to have the ability and opportunity to drive the car.

So, if you are in a situation like this and are looking for some legal help from a Morgantown criminal lawyer, then come to us at Mountaineer Criminal Law Group. We have handled many cases involving DUI of various natures. Our Morgantown DUI lawyer will be able to help you and guide you in the right direction.

On What Terms You Might Get Charged

While you are charged as an offender of the DUI case, the West Virginia law enforcement would insist that the driver is in control of the car. And that is why he or she is susceptible to a DUI arrest. This can involve the following conditions:

  • The drunk person is sleeping in the driver’s seat which will be interpreted that they have the intention to drive the car when they wake up

  • The keys are in the ignition. Even though the car has not started, keys in the ignition will indicate that the driver might have tried to start the car and failed due to the intoxicated state.  

  • The engine of the car is running. You can keep it that way for using the heater or AC or for charging your phone or to listen to the radio. In any case, the police will look at it that you were about to drive the car.  

If you are caught in the legal web for being in any of these above-mentioned situations, our Morgantown DUI lawyer will help you and ensure that the charges get dropped. We are experienced in handling cases where the client has been innocent and just asleep in the driver’s seat and under “reasonable suspicion”, police charged them for DUI. Our Morgantown criminal lawyer has been successfully proved their innocence which resulted in getting the charges dropped.

The Tips to Avoid Such Harassments in Future

It is true that our lawyers are there to help you from the very moments you get charged and arrested. But it is better to be informed and proactive in the first place so that you don’t get charged for DUI at all. Hence, our Morgantown DUI lawyer offers these tips so that you can avoid such harassment in the future.

Take a look at the following points to ensure that you can rest in your car while you are drunk without the fear of getting arrested.

  • Keep your car turned off. Don’t start the engine. Don’t keep the keys in the ignition. Rather keep it in your bag, glove box, or somewhere else.

  • If you feel uneasy after drinking and want to sleep it off in the car, sleep in the back seat of the car.  

  • If you are too drunk to drive, call a sober friend who can drive you home. This way you can remain safe, un-arrested, and can reach home without any trouble.

Connect with Us Today

We, Mountaineer Criminal Law Group, have the experience and expertise to protect your rights and defend your case in the court of law. Our Morgantown criminal lawyer will listen to your case diligently and ensure you get the most favorable outcome. Call us today for more details.