Can I be Charged With DUI Even if I’m not Driving the Car?
Interviewer: I’ve heard of cases where someone had a few drinks and they figure out that they
shouldn’t drive so they sleep it off in the backseat. Can they still be charged with DUI?
Dale: No, if you’re in the backseat and the keys are in the front seat, you’re safe.
Interviewer: But if you’re in the front seat, then you’re getting closer to being in danger?
Dale: There could be problems. If the keys are in your pocket, you’re definitely could attain physical control. If the keys are in the ignition and the car is running, it’s going to be seen as operating a vehicle impaired, which is a more serious charge.
Interviewer: Can you elaborate on what it means to be in about being in physical control?
Dale: Physical control is being in your vehicle while you’re impaired and having possession of the keys. So you have to be in the driver’s seat. You have to have the keys on or about your person.