It is imperative that individuals who plan on drinking plan their transportation ahead of time. Alcohol dramatically affects an individual’s judgement and motor skills. Alcohol significantly hinders a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Individuals may believe they are being responsible by “sleeping it off” in their car, however, depending on the state they live in they could be charged with driving while under the influence (DUI). However, it ultimately depends on whether or not they were in actual physical control of the vehicle. If you have been charged with a DUI for “sleeping it off,” contact a qualified Memphis DUI Defense Lawyer who can help you prove you were not in actual physical control of your motor vehicle while intoxicated. We are on your side and ready to assist you today.
Will I be charged with a DUI for sleeping in my car while drunk in Tennessee?
In several states, a person can be charged with driving while under the influence (DUI) of illegal substances if they are found asleep in their car while intoxicated. In Tennessee, sleeping in a motor vehicle while intoxicated could be considered being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. However, there are several factors that could affect whether or not an individual is convicted of a DUI. For instance, if the motorist was sleeping in the front seat of the motor vehicle, they will most likely be charged with a DUI. However, if they were asleep in the backseat they may not be convicted. It ultimately depends on whether or not the court deems that the motorist was in actual physical control of the motor vehicle.
What do the courts take into consideration?
When an individual is charged with a DUI for sleeping in their car while intoxicated, the court will evaluate the circumstances of the charge to determine whether the motorist was impaired and in actual physical control of the vehicle. Essentially, if a person is unable to set a vehicle in motion, they are not in actual physical control of the vehicle. Typically, the court will look at the following to determine a motorist’s intent:
- Did the motorist have the engine running?
- Where was the motorist sleeping? (the driver’s seat or the backseat)?
- Was the motorist in possession of his or her keys?
- Did the motorist put the keys in the ignition?
- Where was the motor vehicle parked?
- How did the vehicle get to where it was parked?
- Was the vehicle disabled (broken down)?
A skilled Memphis DUI defense lawyer can help prove you weren’t in actual physical control of the motor vehicle. If you have been charged with a DUI for sleeping in your car while intoxicated, don’t hesitate to reach out to our skilled and determined team members. Our firm is committed to defending our clients’ rights and interests. Our team is ready to fight on your behalf today.