After a night out with friends, you know you can’t safely drive home. In this situation, you try to be responsible and sleep it off in your car, only to find out you are now facing DUI charges.
Understanding Georgia’s DUI laws will help you make educated decisions about what to do and how to protect your future.
The law related to sleeping in your vehicle while intoxicated
As mentioned above, it may seem like sleeping in your car instead of driving is the responsible thing to do. It is. However, if the police believe you were driving while intoxicated at some point or tried to drive, you can be arrested for DUI. The law talks about you being in physical control of a moving vehicle. How the police define whether you were or were not is up for debate, and you may be able to challenge it in court.
The police can come to this conclusion if they find you sleeping in the driver’s seat and the keys in the ignition or lap. In this situation, they can deduce that you were, at some point, in control of the vehicle. Also, if you are alone in the driver’s seat while drunk and the hood is warm, this is often enough evidence for the police to charge you with DUI.
If you want to sleep it off in your car, you need to make sure you won’t wake up to a criminal charge. To do this, make sure you don’t start the engine, avoid sleeping in the driver’s seat and put the keys somewhere you cannot easily access them. In other words, do not do anything that might make it look like you were in control of the vehicle.
Protecting yourself from DUI charges
Not drinking and driving is the responsible thing to do. However, if the police believe you were in control of your vehicle while intoxicated, you may still receive a DUI. Knowing the laws and your rights will help you protect yourself in these situations.