Can I get a DUI even if I’m parked?

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On March 23, 2023

Most of us have heard stories from “back in the day” about times when a loved one had to ‘sleep it off’ in the car after a long night of drinking. And many of us may have done something similar back in our hay-day. While it seems well-intentioned and harmless, today, under certain circumstances you can get a DUI while parked.

The DUI laws in all states prohibit drivers from “operating” or being in “actual physical control” of a car while under the influence. While in Oregon some level of movement of the vehicle is required for DUII, in some states the law has determined that a person is still considered in physical control of a vehicle just by having the keys inside the car with them, period, not just inside the ignition!

The most common reason why an Oregon police officer may be suspicious of DUII while you are in a parked vehicle is if you are asleep inside your car. If the officer finds you unconscious, especially in the driver’s seat, their first thought is likely making sure you don’t need medical attention. But also, as we noted above, the “sleeping it off” approach is pretty common, so the officer could assume that you passed out from intoxication. Whatever the officers suspicion, being asleep inside your car could lead to an interrogation.

How Can I Avoid a DUI While I Sleep in My Car?

Even though Oregon requires proof of some type of movement in order to cite you for DUII, being under the influence while inside your car is suspicious. The best way to avoid the inconvenience of being questioned by a police officer is to refrain from being inside your car altogether if you’ve had too much to drink. If you have more to drink than you intended, it’s always in your best interests to order an Uber or Lyft or call a loved one and ask for a ride home, and come back to get your car at a later time.

Arrested For DUI While Parked? Call Reynolds Defense Firm today

DUI (DUII) is a serious offense with far-reaching consequences. And as we discussed above, even with the best intentions of “sleeping it off” inside your car, could lead to a DUII charge, depending on the circumstances. Having the right legal team on your side is crucial. You want to make sure you hire a specialized team of DUI attorneys to improve your chances of getting the best possible outcome, and avoid a criminal conviction – you want Reynolds Defense Firm on your side when it counts.

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