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Can you get a DUI if you’re not driving?

After a game, party or night on the town with friends, you may wonder if you are too buzzed to drive safely. While a power nap in your car might be enough to sober up, it may not be enough to save you from a DUI in the state of Florida.

Due to strict regulations for driving under the influence (DUI), you may be cautious about getting behind the wheel at all if you’ve been drinking. Out of fear of being arrested, spending time in jail and getting your license suspended, you may feel “sleeping it off” in your car is a safer choice than taking the risk of driving home. The only problem is that just might not be enough to stay out of trouble.

Is it legal to sleep in your car if you’re drunk?

Florida’s laws state a person is guilty of DUI “if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle...” This begs the question: What does “actual physical control” mean?

According to the Sunshine State’s bar:

Actual physical control of a vehicle means the defendant must be physically in or on the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether [he] [she] is actually operating the vehicle at the time.”

So, if you’re buzzed, getting in the driver’s seat to sober up could still get you arrested.

You have rights

If you chose to stay safe after drinking, never even moving your vehicle, you may question your arrest. And, if you failed a breathalyzer, you may want to fight your charges before losing your right to drive.

If you received a DUI when you weren’t even driving, it may not be as bad as you think. With the appropriate help and guidance, you may be able to avoid penalties, stay out of jail and maintain some driving privileges.

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