Can I Get a DUI in a Parked Car?

Published: May 08, 2017, by admin in DUI, Legal Blog

You may be surprised to learn that in Illinois, you can get a DUI even if the police catch you in a parked car under the influence of alcohol or drugs. To be guilty of a DUI, you must have “actual physical control” of your vehicle. Actual physical control can mean that you simply possess the keys of your car while drunk or on drugs.

If you were charged with a DUI because you were found sleeping or sitting in your vehicle while intoxicated, you should consult a Chicago DUI attorney at O’Meara Law immediately. Your lawyer can review the evidence that the prosecutor intends to use against you and build a defense strategy that can lead your case to a positive resolution. Call us today at 312-909-0706.

Why You May Get a DUI While Sitting or Sleeping in a Parked Car

There are several reasons why a police officer may give you a DUI while you are under the influence in a parked car. Even if your vehicle is not moving, the officer may conclude that you had the intent to drive. Factors that may influence the outcome of your case include:

  • Whether the keys were in the ignition
  • Where you were sitting in the car
  • If there was an open container in the vehicle
  • Your statements and behavior

How to Avoid a DUI Citation While Parked

There are several ways you can avoid getting cited for a DUI while you are in a parked car. The most obvious one is to refrain from getting into your vehicle after drinking. By simply being in physical possession of your vehicle, you may get charged. If you are at a social event and need a ride home after a few drinks, don’t hesitate to call a cab or ride sharing service. Alternatively, you can use a designated driver if you’re planning on drinking more than a drink or two.

If you do make the decision to sober up in a parked car after you’ve been drinking, you should do everything you can to ensure that the police officers cannot say you had the intention to operate your car. Options include sleeping in a rear or passenger seat and putting the keys in the trunk.

Charged with a DUI in a Parked Car? Contact O’Meara Law Today

If you have been charged with DUI for sleeping or sitting in a parked car, it’s essential to contact a skilled Chicago DUI attorney immediately. Attorney Mike O’Meara can analyze your case to pinpoint where your keys were at the time of the arrest, whether the car was running, where your car was parked, your statements and behavior, and other details that can influence the outcome of your case.

To find out what defense strategies may be available to you, call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 for your free consultation.