I got a DUI and I wasn’t even driving!
Updated: 2 days ago
Believe it or not, many individuals often contact our DUI attorneys in Pennsylvania stating that they were recently arrested for a DUI despite having not driven their vehicle. While this may seem impossible and flies in the face of reason, many people do not realize that it is possible to fall into this predicament.
DUI and "Operating the Car"
While it is without question that you can be arrested for a DUI if you are driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, you don’t necessarily have to be driving the car to still be charged with a DUI.
In Pennsylvania, an individual needs to only be operating the vehicle while intoxicated in order to be arrested and charged with a DUI. The term operate certainly encompasses driving a vehicle but also includes factors such as sitting in the driver‘s seat with the car on and the key in the ignition. Yes, it is true that you do not have to be actually in a moving vehicle at the time of the arrest in order to be charged with a DUI. For example, let’s say you’re on your way home from your local bar and you drive back to your house and park out front. Before you go inside your home, you decide to stay in the car to grab a quick smoke or call someone. If the police have reason to approach your vehicle for investigatory purposes and determine you are intoxicated, then you can be charged with a DUI which is why you will need a Pennsylvania DUI attorney to fight for you.
But the cops didn’t see me driving!
Another misconception many people have is that the police actually need to see you driving the vehicle in order for you to be charged with a DUI. This is not so. If the police receive information from a third-party about your driving and based on that information, investigate you and determine that you were driving the vehicle while impaired, then you can be arrested and charged with a DUI. For example, many times an individual will be driving impaired and will make it back to their dwelling but someone who witnessed your poor driving has called the police and gave a description of the car and you driving it. The police arrive to the house and see the car that was described to them and you, matching the description of the driver, open your front door impaired. The police then ask you if you had anything to drink that night and you respond that you have and that you just got home. This is arguably enough to be charged with a DUI.
Important to remember!
It is essential to remember that you do not have to say anything to police officers when they are investigating a potential DUI. You do not have to tell them if you were drinking earlier, how you got home, or if you were driving any vehicle. You have an absolute right to remain silent and it is essential to remember this fact about all else. The only person you should contact is a Pennsylvania DUI attorney.
I got arrested for a DUI… who can I call?
At The Town Law, we understand just how stressful facing criminal charges can be. With our vast experience handling criminal cases throughout Bucks County, Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania, we are well-equipped to ensure you get the best result possible with seasoned DUI attorneys by your side throughout the process. Contact our firm today for a free consultation. Our staff of criminal defense attorneys is dedicated to the best outcomes for all of our clients.