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Can I Get a DUI If I Am Not Driving?

December 29, 2023

Can I Get a DUI If I Am Not Driving?

Yes. You can get a DUI in Tennessee even if you are not driving. This means you can get arrested by the police and charged with DUI even if you were not physically driving your vehicle and they don’t have proof that you were driving. A DUI conviction, even if you are a first-time DUI offender, comes with severe penalties, including getting your license revoked for a year, jail time, and hefty fines, among many others.

If you have been charged with DUI even if you were not driving, discuss your case with our Nashville DUI defense attorney for legal advice.

You Can Be Charged With DUI Even If Your Vehicle Was Parked

Many drivers mistakenly assume that they can’t be arrested for and charged with DUI since they’re not driving, and their car is parked. However, this isn’t the case at all. You can get a DUI if the police deem that you are intoxicated and in physical control of your vehicle, even if the car is parked.

Being in physical control of the vehicle is one of the main factors the police use when they are determining whether or not they should arrest someone for DUI. Put simply, being in physical control of the vehicle means you can operate or drive the vehicle at any time. For example, the police can arrest you for DUI if you have your keys inside your bag, anywhere inside your vehicle, or your person, even if your vehicle is parked.

While this may seem unfair, it’s the law. In addition, the police must also consider if you intend to drive your vehicle. For instance, if the police pull you over as you’re getting inside your vehicle and you are intoxicated, they could determine that you intend to drive your vehicle and you’re in control of it even if your keys are not in the ignition and you’re not yet driving.

It does not matter if your vehicle was turned on or not because you may have intended to drive. The prosecution might argue that you could have driven your vehicle at any time because you were inside your vehicle, and your keys were with you.

You Can Be Charged With DUI Even If You Were Sleeping Inside Your Vehicle

In Tennessee, you can get arrested for DUI if you’re sleeping inside your vehicle and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is more than the legal limit. The police can also arrest you if they suspect that you are under the influence of drugs. Under TN’s implied consent law, by choosing to drive or physically control a vehicle, the police can order you to take a breath, urine, or blood test if they suspect that you are intoxicated. This applies if the police find you sleeping inside your vehicle.

Reach Out to a Seasoned Nashville DUI Defense Attorney Today

If you or a loved one was arrested for a DUI, get in touch with the Nashville DUI attorney at Raybin & Weissman right away. To arrange your free case evaluation with our Nashville DUI attorney, complete our online form or dial 615-256-6666.