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In Arizona, can I sleep in my car if I am too drunk to drive?

DUI when sleeping in car

Regardless of whether you move your car five inches or five miles, you are driving your car. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people in Arizona who have been arrested for drunk driving when they say they did not “drive,” and only “moved” their vehicle into a different location. Whether you moved your car into a different parking space, driveway or anywhere else, it is driving. So do not drive your car to sleep in it.

Other people arrested for DUI say they were sleeping somewhere in the car or were outside of the vehicle when law enforcement arrived. In Arizona, these circumstances are situations regarding “actual physical control.” If the government can prove as part of your case that you did drive to a location while under the influence, you can be prosecuted for DUI (see: Costs of a DUI)

When you have been charged with driving under the influence or have received DUI charges based on actual physical control, you need the help of an Arizona DUI criminal defense lawyer who has experience successfully defending clients in your circumstances.

We’re you charged with a DUI while sleeping in your car? Speak with a DUI defense Lawyer today.
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There are factors the Court looks for in determining whether the DUI has occurred:

  • Vehicle was running
  • Ignition was on
  • Location of keys in the vehicle
  • Location of the driver in the car and his or her physical position
  • Whether the person was asleep or awake
  • Vehicle headlights were on
  • Vehicle was in the road or illegally parked
  • Vehicle was pulled off the road
  • Time of day
  • Weather conditions
  • Heater or air conditioner are on or off
  • Windows were raised or lowered
  • Defense explanatory statements and position

One of the biggest issues the court seeks to answer is that of danger to the public. The ultimate goal of the court, after all, is to keep the public safe.


Can I sleep in my car if I am too drunk to drive?

As always, do not drive if you feel you should not do so, if you believe you may be over the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration. If your car is parked in an unsafe location, do not attempt to move it. That can be a difficult decision to make in that moment, particularly if you are intoxicated. But that decision is important. If it must be moved, call a tow truck or have a sober friend move it for you.

If your car is safely parked and off the roadway, do not put the key in the ignition at any time. Instead, get into the back seat. If your vehicle does not have a back seat, such as a truck or small vehicle, you can sit in the passenger’s seat with caution. Do not start the car unless you absolutely must. The only reasons for starting the car at all if you are in this situation is to cool the vehicle using air conditioner in extreme heat, or to warm the vehicle in dangerous cold. By putting the key in the ignition at all, you are opening yourself up to much more scrutiny for an accusation of DUI.


If the police arrive, what should I say?

If the police arrive while you are getting ready to sleep in your car or have already fallen asleep, they will likely question you. They may ask:

  • Did you drive your vehicle here?
  • Did you drink anything before getting here?

If questions like these, or others pointing to a possible scenario of DUI, are asked it is best to invoke your right to remain silent. Be very respectful and simply respond that you wish to remain silent. You may be taken into custody after this, but you will still have a good chance of defending your situation in court, with the help of an experienced Arizona DUI criminal defense attorney.


Finding the Right Attorney for Your DUI Case

When you have been taken into custody for DUI in Arizona, you need to know which attorney will provide your best DUI criminal defense. A skilled DUI attorney who knows Arizona laws and how “no actual physical control” and other defenses may be applied to your benefit may be able to help you toward the best possible outcome for your case.

Call the experienced DUI criminal defense lawyers of the DMCantor now at (602) 560-4004 for a free consultation about your case.

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