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Charged with a DUI for Sleeping in the Car?

Posted on in DUI Defense

b2ap3_thumbnail_DUI-for-sleeping-in-the-car-Oak-Brook.jpgConsider the following scenario: You went out with friends and drank too much. You knew you were not safe to drive. Rather than wait for a taxi to pick you up and take you home, or ride home with one of your intoxicated friends, you decided to sleep off your intoxication in the car. However, your decision came under question when an officer knocked on your window and began demanding sobriety tests. Now, you are facing DUI charges and you were not even driving. How did this happen?

Not As Uncommon As You Might Think

DUI sleeping in a car is possible and relatively common. The Illinois criminal code broadly states that an individual may not be in actual or physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated. If you are sleeping, are you in real control of the vehicle? The following factors provide guidelines for these cases:

  • Driver had the ignition key;
  • Individual had the physical capability of driving;
  • Person was in the driver’s seat; and
  • The driver had the doors locked and was unaccompanied.

The Law as a Preventative Measure

Did you know that while DUI is a crime, it is criminalized as a preventative measure for the death and destruction caused by previous drunk drivers? Essentially, when you receive a DUI in the state of Illinois, it is because the lawmakers determined that the BAC of 0.08 percent has a higher likelihood of causing an accident and taking a life, and they seek to prevent the unfathomable from occurring.

On this same measure, DUI sleeping in a car is possible because, with all of the right tools readily available to you in a car to drive, there is nothing to stop you from waking up, still drunk, and driving on the road. Thus, you are still endangering yourself and those around you.

Ignorance of the Law is Not a Valid Defense

Although we may try the argument until we are blue in the face, most judges do not believe that ignorance of the law is any justification for putting lives in danger. Additionally, the laws surrounding DUI make no pretense that intent is necessary. Although you were sound asleep and had no intention to drive, most people under the influence of alcohol react mostly reflexively. Hence, if you wake up behind the wheel of your car and desire to be home instead, your body will just go into those motions.

For any DUI case, your future is at stake and you should therefore contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. If you would like to discuss your case with a proven Oak Brook, IL DUI defense attorney, contact McMahon Law Offices. Utilize our complimentary and confidential consult simply by calling 630-953-4400 today.




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