Even efforts to make good decisions can go awry when you do not hire the right DUI lawyer. However, in November’s case of the month, because my client went the correct route in getting out of her DUI case, a good outcome was possible in a not-so-good situation.
My client had been drinking when she found herself in a situation where she needed to leave for her safety. After she started driving, she realized that she might have had too much to drink to drive safely. After pulling into a subdivision and parking on a side street, she turned off the car, took the keys out of the ignition, moved over to the passenger side, and drifted off to sleep. Almost 2 hours later, a resident called the police, who came to the scene to investigate. After waking my client up, the officer arrested her for DUI.
One of the key elements in prosecuting a DUI is that the State must prove that you were in control of a moving vehicle and were impaired to drive. It is possible to be convicted of DUI, EVEN if the officer does not see you driving. You can be convicted by “circumstantial” evidence. For instance, if you are in a parked car with the engine running, you admit that you had parked the car recently, or if you are involved in an accident and admit that you were driving.
The key elements to not being found guilty of DUI–even though you tried to do the right thing by parking your car–are as follows:
- Turn the engine off, take the keys out of the ignition, and move to the back seat.
- If approached by the police, do not answer any questions relating to when your driving ended, how much you had to drink, etc.
- Do NOT submit to any field evaluations.
- Do NOT take any breath test at the scene.
- If you think you would register above the legal limit, DON’T take any state test.
In this particular case, I was able to find a compassionate prosecutor who agreed to dismiss the DUI charge. One would think that if a person was trying to do the right thing by getting off the road, the State would give you a break. However, this rarely happens in the DUI world. Therefore, you need to exercise your Constitutional rights and protect yourself as much as you can.