A DUI charge can lead to significant consequences, including potential driver’s license loss, fines, and even jail time.
Most people understand that driving while intoxicated can result in a DUI charge, but it might surprise them to learn that they can also face DUI charges even if their vehicle is off.
Controlled substance or alcohol in your system
A primary factor that can lead to a DUI charge, even if your vehicle is off, is having alcohol or a controlled substance in your system. Many jurisdictions have laws specifying that a person can face a DUI charge if they have “actual physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This means that sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in your possession or within reach can potentially result in a DUI charge, even if the vehicle is not running.
Besides having alcohol or drugs in your system, other circumstantial evidence can play a role in determining whether you can face a DUI charge when your vehicle is off. For example, if you parked your vehicle in a way that suggests recent driving, such as on the side of a busy road or in a parking lot with a warm engine, this could serve as evidence that you controlled the vehicle while intoxicated.
By making responsible decisions and avoiding situations where you have actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence, you can protect yourself from facing DUI charges and the associated consequences.