Driving under the influence is a serious offense that entails operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. However, you should understand that you can indeed get a DUI without physically driving your car.
This may seem surprising, but various circumstances can lead to such charges. If you are facing DUI charges, or even if you tend to enjoy a few drinks now and then, it is a good idea to know when the police can legally arrest you for DUI.
Sitting in the driver’s seat
One common scenario where you can face DUI charges without driving is if police find you sitting in the driver’s seat. This applies when the vehicle is stationary with the engine running or if the key is in the ignition. Even if you have no intention of driving, being in control of the vehicle with the engine on can be enough for law enforcement to consider it a DUI offense.
Sleeping it off in your car
If you have a few drinks and decide to “sleep it off” in your car to sober up before driving home, you might think that it is a responsible choice. However, if an officer finds you in your vehicle while under the influence, you could still face a DUI charge due to your potential to drive.
There were more than 443,000 police arrests for DUI in 2021, and not all of them were under similar circumstances. In many cases, law enforcement officers preemptively arrest inebriated individuals before they hit the road.