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What Is A Parked Car DUI?

The California Vehicle Code, in Section 23152, prohibits driving under the influence of any drug or alcoholic beverage and specifies .08% of blood-alcohol content as the point of intoxication for legal purposes. It makes no mention of a person being charged with a DUI for sitting in a parked car, perhaps without even having the keys in the ignition. Nonetheless, there are situations in which you can be charged with a DUI while sitting in a parked car.

What Is A Parked Car DUI? | Los Angeles DUI Attorney

Below, we look at situations in which it can be argued you committed a DUI. A skilled Los Angeles DUI attorney will know how to counter such arguments, but left alone, your chances will probably be slim of defeating the charges.

  1. “Driving In Fact”

First of all, prosecutors are accustomed to interpreting the term “driving” in unusual ways in a legal setting. It is not legally required that the car was actually moving, or seen moving by a police officer, for a DUI conviction. For example, if the engine is on, the parking brake is not deployed, and an intoxicated individual sits behind the wheel, this is circumstantial evidence of driving.

  1. Attempted DUI

You may also be charged on the basis that the arresting officer had good reason to infer from the circumstances that you intended to drive while drunk. It can be argued that you were about to commit a DUI or that, without police intervention, you would have. Some evidences for attempted DUI include:

  • Having just exited a place where alcohol is served
  • Being behind the steering wheel
  • Throwing your personal possessions onto the passenger seat
  • Turning the key in the ignition switch

When multiple of these facts obtain, your chance of being charged with parked car DUI increases dramatically and your need of a good Los Angeles DUI attorney increases in direct proportion.

Related: Top 10 Reasons why Jon Artz is one of the best Los Angeles DUI lawyers around.

  1. Drove DUI and Parked

Another angle the prosecution might attack from is to argue you had just finished committing a DUI. It may be that the engine was off, the car was parked, and you were sleeping in the back seat, but your recent commission of a DUI could be inferred from such circumstances as:

  • Engine was warm
  • The vehicle was parked in a remote location
  • No alcoholic beverage containers were in the vehicle
  • You failed police-administered field sobriety tests
  • You were in the vehicle alone
  • You are the registered owner

By paying attention to specific pieces of circumstantial evidence like the presence of another person in the car before/during the arrest, your proximity to the driver’s seat, your possession/not of the keys, and the engine being on or off, a skilled Los Angeles DUI attorney can often secure a favorable outcome to parked car DUI cases. Risking a go-it-alone case, however, will likely lead to disaster.

The fastest way to contact me: 310-820-1315

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