imageSometimes a person will park a vehicle he was driving because he feels he drank too much alcohol to be driving. He may have stopped driving to be safe and because it was the right thing to do. Instead of driving he can fall asleep either in the driver’s, passenger or back seat. After some time his bodily alcohol limit will be lower and hopefully is safe to drive again.

He may pull over in a parking lot, gas station or even on the side of a road or highway. Because he is no longer driving, he feels safe. Ironically, he is not. Pulling over and sleeping in a car allows, and invites, a police officer to investigate what is going on. An 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 will ask a lot of questions. If the officer determines that the sleeping driver was driving the vehicle earlier while intoxicated by alcohol that can be enough for that person to be arrested, charged and convicted of DUI.

For instance, an officer may wake up a driver on the side of the road, ask how he got there and whether he has been drinking. If the driver admits that he drove to that location and that he had been drinking alcohol before driving, 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 can arrest the driver for DUI. The officer assuming that the alcohol level must have been higher at the time of driving even if it was several hours earlier. It does not matter if the officer did not see the person driving. The circumstantial evidence of driving while intoxicated is enough.

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If the driver stated that he drank alcohol after parking, the officer will look for evidence of recent consumption like an alcohol bottle or glass. Officers will also feel the hood of a car to check if it is still warm.

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. The officer will ask how he got there. If the driver says he was dropped off and no driving took place a DUI arrest will be unlikely.

If you are driving and feel like you have had too much to drink pull over in a parking lot and not in a random place. If you do so there is less of a chance an officer will interrupt your rest. If one does, do not admit to driving after drinking.