When you think of “Driving While Intoxicated” (DUI) you would naturally assume that to be arrested for this offense you would have to have operated a motor vehicle while legally intoxicated or on drugs. However, a surprising fact is that under certain circumstances you can get a DUI without ever moving your vehicle.
When you have been out drinking and feel that you have had one too many to drive, it can seem logical to get into your car and close your eyes and rest rather than going anywhere. However, prior to a significant change in the law in 2015, a Nevada driver who was intoxicated and fell asleep in his or her car may have been arrested and even convicted of a DUI.
It is still illegal under Nevada law for a person to drive, operate or be in “actual physical control” of a vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance, or both. Even when an impaired driver chooses to sleep in his or her vehicle rather than drive, there are times when this action could be construed as being in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. However, since the change in 2015, the law now defines circumstances which are not actual physical control.
Specifically, NRS 484C.109 states that “a person shall be deemed not to be in actual physical control of a vehicle if:
1. The person is asleep inside the vehicle;
2. The person is not in the driver’s seat of the vehicle;
3. The engine of the vehicle is not running;
4. The vehicle is lawfully parked; and
- Under the facts presented, it is evident that the person could not have driven the vehicle to the location while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance or a prohibited substance.
The addition of these factors can help an intoxicated driver who is not moving a vehicle avoid a DUI arrest. However, it is essential that the driver make sure not to engage in actions such as sitting in the driver’s seat with the ignition on which could be viewed as being in “actual control.”
Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for a DUI offense, it is critical that you have the right advocate at your side. At the Law Office of Darren Weiss, we have the experience you need to get the best possible result in your situation. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.