Getting behind the wheel of your car while intoxicated is never the right decision. Not only is Driving Under the Influence (DUI) dangerous for everyone else on the road, but getting pulled over while drunk can lead to a DUI conviction which can have life-altering consequences. To avoid this, sometimes it may seem like the responsible choice to sober up by sleeping it off in your car. However, even though you are not driving your vehicle, if you are found inebriated in your car, you can still be charged with a DUI in the state of Georgia. If you decided to sleep in your car while drunk and received a DUI, please contact a Cobb County DUI lawyer at Miller Law Practice, LLC to help you fight your DUI charge.
If I sleep in my car while drunk in Georgia, can I get a DUI?
In the state of Georgia, one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make is assuming that a DUI offense is only applicable if they are actually driving their vehicle. If you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, and a police officer finds you behind the wheel in any capacity, you will be charged with a DUI. The reason for this is that Georgia law dictates that you can be guilty of a DUI if you are either driving or within reasonable control of any moving vehicle.
There is a lot of room for interpretation when it comes to having reasonable control of a vehicle since it is generally defined as having the power to move a vehicle. Because the definition is so vague, anyone caught sleeping in the driver’s seat of their car while drunk can easily fall into that category. Even if you did not move your vehicle in any capacity before falling asleep, if a police officer sees your engine running or the key in the ignition, it can easily be assumed that you intend to drive.
How do I fight a DUI offense if I am caught sleeping in my car while drunk in Georgia?
Depending on the circumstances of the incident, it is possible to avoid a DUI conviction if you decided to sleep in your car while drunk. Although the definition of having reasonable physical control of your vehicle can vary so much, your case could still be fought in court based on the facts of the situation. Factors such as where you were sleeping in your car, where your keys were, and the absence of any alcoholic containers could be argued by an experienced DUI attorney to get your case dismissed.