Physical Control: Can I Get a DUI Without Driving?

Why You Should Avoid Being In a Vehicle If You’re Drunk

Many people think that you have to be driving to be charged with a DUI, but that’s not true, at least not in Arizona. In short, you can get a DUI without driving because the charge of driving under the influence only indicates that the person is either driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle.

The “actual physical control” phrase is tricky, as its interpretation is quite subjective depending on what an officer observes. Most of the time, the police charge a drunk person with DUI because they believe this person is in actual physical control of the vehicle, even if the person is only sleeping.

Since this is normally a confusing topic, we decided to explain the basics about it according to a Mesa DUI law office.

Suspected of DUI in Arizona

What Should I Know About “Actual Physical Control”?

Being drunk while inside a vehicle may be enough to prove a DUI charge, especially if you’re sitting in the driver’s seat. Other factors may help decide if someone is in actual physical control or not. Some of them are:

  • The positions of the keys
  • If the vehicle was running or the ignition was on
  • If the person was awake or asleep
  • The lights (if they were on or not)
  • Weather conditions
  • Time of the day
  • Windows (if they were up or down)
  • The heater or air conditioner (if it was on)

It is only a shortlist of the most common considerations, but other factors may influence your case.

The jury is the one who decides whether you are in actual physical control of the vehicle if you were not driving. Therefore, the jury decides if you’re guilty of a DUI or not.

Jurors usually know that someone is not in actual physical control unless they have a threat to the public by the imminent control of the automobile. If the car is stuck or has a mechanical issue, that can be a good defense for Phoenix DUI attorneys.

Can I Get a DUI In a Parked Vehicle?

If you are in a parked car under the influence of alcohol and deemed to be “in control of the car”, police can easily arrest you. Even if you have your vehicle parked, you can still get a DUI.

Also, remember that the police will decide if you are in control of a vehicle or not. The factors we previously mentioned can help you identify the situation better, but the best you can do is to avoid the vehicle if you’re drunk.

Being in a parked vehicle and having the car keys in your purse can be enough reason to receive a DUI, even if you weren’t driving.

What Are The Penalties For a DUI With No Proof Of Driving?

The penalties for a DUI without driving are the same as DUI when driving. You may lose your license for some time and have to pay fines. The payment varies depending on how high your blood alcohol content was, and whether or not this was your first DUI.

In other words, if you were charged with a DUI before, the penalties become stronger, and Tucson DUI defense lawyers may need to work harder with the case. Besides, you may have your license suspended, and you may have to pay court-ordered fines.

Luckily, not everything is as bad as it seems. There are many ways to avoid the worst-case scenario with DUI law. Since DWI laws are not as simple as they seem, lawyers can find ways to create a great defense for you.

Should I Hire Mesa DUI Lawyers?

There are many equally complex and convoluted circumstances where you may be unfairly charged with a DUI offense even if you were not driving. Arizona DUI laws are not as clear as they seem, so it is crucial to have a well-experienced criminal lawyer helping you. You should never go through the court process alone. If you received a DUI without driving, contact My AZ Lawyers today. Our skilled team of lawyers is experts in criminal and traffic law, meaning that we will create the best defense for you to clear the charges against you or reduce them. Contact us now to receive a FREE, no-hassle consultation.


Contact Professional Family Attorneys In Arizona

Arizona Offices:

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202

Office: (480) 448-9800

Phoenix Location:
343 West Roosevelt, Suite #100
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Office: (602) 609-7000

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308

Office: (602) 509-0955

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701

Office: (520) 441-1450

Avondale Location:
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392

Office: (623) 469-6603

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