Can I Be Charged with DUI for Sitting in My Vehicle While Intoxicated?

By Jonathan Blecher on January 1, 2015

After an evening of drinking with good friends, you assume that you’re unfit to drive and park in a secure parking garage to sleep off the effects of the alcohol. Smart choice, right? While it’s certainly better than attempting to drive home, police officers aren’t always as appreciative of this ‘smart choice’ and have no problem charging you with a DUI.

A DUI while I’m sleeping in a parked car? Unfortunately, yes. Florida has specific laws governing this issue and countless individuals have found themselves facing DUI penalties with no idea how they got there. Keep reading to give yourself an advantage and avoid an unnecessary arrest.

Florida’s “Actual Physical Control” Law

One of the most unknown laws surrounding DUI cases is called Actual Physical Control. This refers to an officer’s ability to arrest you simply for being in your vehicle and in possession of the car keys. While there are certain requirements that must be met, sometimes it can be just as black and white as it sounds.

The following elements must be proved for a convicted:

  • The car keys are either in the ignition, on your person, or easily accessible to your person
  • That you were found in the driver’s seat
  • Evidence that your vehicle was drivable

If an officer happens upon you while you’re parked, they can ask you to perform field sobriety tests and administer a blood or breath test. Refusal of such a test incurs the same penalties as those for a regular DUI test refusal, including license suspension and even raised auto insurance.

At Jonathan Blecher, P.A., I have helped countless individuals facing DUI charges related to Actual Physical Control. With over 30 years of experience and a powerful defense presence in court, my assistance could be what your case needs.

Contact my firm today to work with a skilled Miami DUI defense attorney!

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