Sleeping it Off Can Lead to a DUI
By Jonathan Blecher on January 9, 2017
So, what does “actual physical control” mean in a Florida DUI case? It means that a driver can be arrested and charged with DUI so long as they are physically capable of moving the vehicle. For example, “Mike” drives completely sober to a bar. After having four drinks, Mike leaves the bar at closing time and realizes he’s in no shape for driving.
Since Mike wants to avoid drinking and driving, he decides to spend the night in his car and “sleep off” the alcohol. He figures that he’ll keep the roads safe by staying in his parked car, or by taking a long nap and calling a sober friend to pick him up in the morning when it’s a decent hour. Mike is trying to do the responsible thing and “drink responsibly.”
As Mike is sleeping in his car half a block from the bar, he’s awakened by an officer knocking on his driver’s side window. Mind you, Mike was parked legally; he wasn’t violating any parking laws and his vehicle was not subject to being towed. All he was doing was sleeping in his car. His keys were NOT in the ignition, and there were no containers of alcohol anywhere in the vehicle.
Suspicious that Mike was drinking, the officer asks Mike to step outside of his vehicle, perform field sobriety tests and submit to a breath test. After failing the sobriety tests and blowing more than .08% BAC – the legal limit – Mike is arrested for DUI and taken down to the station for booking.
Unfortunately, a large percentage of drivers do not realize that they can be arrested for DUI in Florida if they fall asleep in their vehicle while under the influence. Sometimes people can even get arrested for DUI if they are sleeping in their passenger seat, but with the car keys in their pocket!
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