Can you get a DUI for sleeping in your car? Sometimes, a person will park the vehicle they were driving because they feel that they drank too much alcohol to drive. They may stop driving to stay safe and because it’s the right thing to do.
Instead of driving, they end up falling asleep either in the driver’s seat, passenger seat, or back seat.
A law enforcement officer has the right to determine if a sleeping driver is in need of medical assistance.
While determining if the person is in need of assistance, the officer then asks a lot of questions.
If the officer determines that the sleeping driver was driving the vehicle earlier while intoxicated by alcohol and/or drugs, that can be enough for that person to be arrested, charged and convicted of DUI.
How An Officer Can Arrest You
An officer may wake up a driver on the side of the road, ask how they got there and whether they’ve been drinking.
If the driver admits that drank alcohol before driving to that location, the officer will likely ask the driver for a breath alcohol test.
If the breath test measures an amount over the legal limit, the officer will arrest the driver for DUI (Michigan uses the term OWI).
Typically the officer assumes that the alcohol level must have been higher at the time of driving, even if it was several hours earlier.
It doesn’t matter if the officer didn’t see the person driving.
The circumstantial evidence of driving while intoxicated is enough.
If the driver stated that they drank alcohol after parking, the officer will look for evidence of recent consumption, such as an alcohol bottle.
Additionally, the officer will feel the hood of the car to check if it’s still warm.
The Takeaway: Can You Get a DUI For Sleeping In Your Car?
It can be more complicated for the officer if someone is sleeping in a car in a parking lot.
Someone could have driven their suspect there.
Therefore, the officer will ask how they got there.
If the driver says he was dropped off and no driving took place, a DUI arrest will be unlikely unless there’s obvious evidence to say otherwise.
If you’re driving and feel like you’ve had too much to drink, pull over in a parking lot and not in a random place.
If you do so, there’s less of a chance an officer will interrupt your rest.
If one does, do not admit to driving after drinking.
Attorney Morris is trial lawyer who has been providing high-quality legal representation in the areas of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years. He’s known for his trial preparation by fellow attorneys, judges and clients alike. As a trial attorney, he’s dedicated to attaining justice in every case, and is always prepared to successfully take on complex legal issues. Barton and his law firm pride themselves on obtaining results for their clients that other attorneys cannot.
Not only does Barton Morris have extensive experience, he also engages in continuing legal education to provide the highest quality legal services. Barton has received specialized scientific training through the American Chemical Society, and is the only forensic lawyer-scientist in Michigan. He attended the prestigious Trial Lawyers College and serves on its Alumni Association Board of Directors. Barton Morris is also a board member of several distinguished legal associations including the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys, and the DUI Defense Lawyer’s Association Justice Foundation. He’s also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and has graduated from their National Criminal Defense Trial College in Macon, Georgia.
Barton Morris is consistently chosen as a Top Lawyer of Metro Detroit and for DUI/OWI and criminal defense by DBusiness Magazine and Hour Magazine. He has also been chosen as a Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense.