Can You Get a DUI in Pittsburgh for Sleeping in Your Car? | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys

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Can You Get a DUI in Pittsburgh for Sleeping in Your Car ?

Sometimes, when you leave a bar or party, you know you are too drunk to drive. You may be tempted to sleep in your car, thinking you are being responsible. But the police can still arrest you for a DUI because Pennsylvania DUIs are very strict.

If you are arrested for a DUI it Pittsburgh becasue you tried to sleep in your car, contact the Pittsburgh DUI lawyers at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC today at (412) 281-2146. We can review what happened, and how you can deal with the situation the right way.

Pennsylvania Law Regarding Sleeping in a Car While Drunk

In Pennsylvania, there must be proof that a person was driving, operating, or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol for them to be convicted of a DUI. Since it is not possible to drive or operate a vehicle while asleep, the focus in your case is whether you were in “actual physical control.”

Physical control is a vague concept. Essentially, the court looks at the “totality of the circumstances.” They consider things like where you were, where the vehicle was located, whether the engine was running, the location of the keys, and other evidence that may indicate you were driving or could immediately drive the vehicle. A police officer may think that you drove drunk to where they found you, tried to drive drunk, or could have carelessly moved the car while you were impaired.

Sleeping in Your Car While Intoxicated

You should always avoid sleeping in your car while you under the influence. But, if you must sleep in your car, here are some tips to help show that you were NOT in actual physical control:

  • Avoid moving your car, regardless of the distance.
  • Refrain from turning on the engine
  • Ensure the heat, air conditioning, radio, headlights, and windshield wipers are turned off.
  • Sleep in the back seat rather than the driver’s seat.
  • Keep your hands and feet away from the pedals and steering wheels.
  • Place your keys in the glove compartment, center console, trunk, or another inconvenient location.
  • Prior to falling asleep, contact someone and inform them of your plan to sleep in your car until you are sober.

Keep in mind that even if you do follow these tips, you can still be arrested for a DUI. Therefore, it is in your best interest to avoiding falling asleep drunk in your car.

Contact Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI because you were caught sleeping in your car, you face serious penalties but there are ways to improve your situation. You should reach out to the Pittsburgh DUI lawyers at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC by calling (412) 281-2146.

We’ll review what happened and by presenting that you were not in physical control, we may be able to reduce or dismiss your charges. This could save you from harsh DUI penalties like fines, jail time, a driver’s license suspension, and increased car insurance premiums.