Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense and it is punishable by law. However, what if you were not actually driving? Well, many people actually ask their legal representatives whether it is possible to be charged with DUI, even though they were not technically driving their vehicles. The simply answer to that question is – yes, it is very much possible. Nevertheless, it does depend on the circumstances and where you along with the keys from your car were located.
To make things a bit more understandable, let us simply review a couple of examples. For instance, a person walks out of a bar and really feels that he or she drank too much, hence, this individual decides to wait it over, to sober up a bit before driving. Hence, he or she gets in the car, on the front seat and falls asleep to the radio playing. The keys in this keys are in the ignition, but the engine may not be running.
Well, the next moment, out of nowhere, a law enforcement officers appears and is knocking on the window, asking that person to step out from the vehicle. Such cases are far from being rare and actually take place all the time. This is usually happening when the officer notices a single car in a parking lot, on the side of the road, with a person on the front seat, who has fallen asleep apparently. This makes the officers suspicious and they proceed to checking the situation out. And if there are reasons to believe that the person was actually under the influence of alcohol, the law enforcement officer will arrest him or her.
With that said, you will be surprised, but this may very well lead to being charged with misdemeanor DUI. But how is this even possible if you were not actually driving? Well, it is actually pretty simple – the trick is that the person was actually in physical control over the vehicle. That is right – if the intoxicated individual was sitting on the front seat and had keys in the ignition, technically, this may well imply that he or she was able to start the vehicle at any moment and while being under the influence of alcohol.
Furthermore, even if a person was sleeping the effects of alcohol off on the backseat, it does not necessarily make things any better, especially if the keys were in the ignition. The prosecutor may well argue that the individual was also capable of setting the car in motion quickly and therefore was in complete physical control over it. Still, even though it is also an arguable idea to sleep it off in the back of the car, it is far better than falling asleep on the front seat – that much is certain.
One way or the other, it is very important to keep in mind that it is all about the keys and where you put them. It is best to keep them in your pocket or your purse. You may also put them in the console or the glove compartment – anywhere is fine, as long as they are not in the ignition. The engine, of course, must not be running.
In the end, if you wish to avoid such a situation, it is best to make sure that you get a cab or have someone taking you home. These are the better options that will allow you to stay as far away from the legal trouble as possible.
Find more information about Seattle DUI laws here: https://www.seattleduiattorneys.net