In certain situations, you can actually be charged with DUI in California even when you are not driving. However, to convict you of DUI, a prosecutor must prove that, at some point, you actually were driving while you were intoxicated. If an experienced driving under the influence defense attorney can persuasively argue that you were not driving at all, then the prosecutor cannot meet the factors required to convict you, and the charge will probably be dropped.
Here are two examples. In this first example, let’s say you had two beers with colleagues after work before driving home. On your way home, you start having car trouble, and you pull over to the side of the highway to check it out. A police officer stops to see if you’re okay – let’s say it’s after dark – and the officer smells beer on your breath. It’s going to be difficult to argue that you weren’t driving under the influence, especially if you were alone.
But let’s look at a second example. Instead of driving home after beers with colleagues, you decide you’re too tired and too “buzzed” to drive, so you crawl into the back seat of your car, keys in your pocket, for a nap. You’re asleep in the bar’s parking lot when an officer knocks on the window and asks you to step out. No keys are in the ignition, and it’s not likely that you drove from somewhere else just to nap in that particular parking lot. Even if you’re charged with DUI, a good driving under the influence defense lawyer can likely have the charge quickly dismissed.
California drivers have been charged with driving under the influence while walking, resting, or sleeping by the side of highways, in parking lots, and in highway rest areas. Others have been charged with DUI while riding horses, bicycles, and golf carts. The consequences of a DUI conviction are serious and long-lasting. If you are charged now or in the future with DUI in California – whether or not you were actually driving – get the legal help you need at once and contact an experienced California DUI defense attorney.