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Arrested for drunk driving even if you were not driving?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | DUI

You left your friend’s house after celebrating their birthday. While the cool night air clears your head some, you still feel fuzzy. You are confident that you can drive your car home with no problems.

A few minutes later, you stop and park your car — now, you are not so sure you can safely drive home. You see red and blue lights flashing behind you.

The officer can use probable cause

You were not driving. Your car was in park. Remember, this police officer was trained to use what they see, hear and even smell as evidence against you. They see your car parked at the curb. They hear the engine running. And they smell that alcohol on your breath.

All of these elements make up “probable cause.” By using this, the officer does have the right to question you.

What is “physical control?”

In your situation, you are in physical control of the vehicle, even though you were not actively driving it. The officer also observed the following:

  • You were in the driver’s seat
  • The keys were in the ignition
  • Nobody else was in the car with you

This means that, if you are thinking of fighting this part of the charges against you, the judge will not accept them.

Your case is in the hands of the courts now

You are facing some stiff penalties. Even though the police officer never saw you driving down the road, they arrested you and took you to jail.

Learning everything you can about what can happen to you might help you to be proactive. Find out everything you can about the penalties you are facing.