Saturday, September 5, 2009

S.U.I.: Sleeping under the influence

Apparently you can also get a DUI if you sleep it off in your car. In 2007 a man was convicted of a DUI after he was found sleeping in his car with it running and in park. The man told the cops it was cold outside (it was February in New Jersey) and he left it running to stay warm. Well, to make a long story short, he was arrested and convicted of DUI and had to pay over $4000 in fines and costs. In most states, having "control" of the vehicle means being in it, even if you're in the back seat sleeping it off. In other words, you don't have to be driving the car to get busted. Now common sense would tell you that if you think you are too drunk to drive, don't drive. I would think that people would appreciate it if you chose to pass out in the back seat instead of driving home. Yet if you are found passed out in your car, even though your keys are not in the ignition, you will be slapped with a DUI. The cops can also arrest you if your car is broke down and inoperable. So that means you can't go to the bar and wait for the tow truck without risking a DUI. So what is next?? Will the cops arrest the guy who is sitting at home drinking because he may decide to drive?? As crazy as this sounds, sleeping in the trunk may be your best solution. Most newer cars have a release lever inside the trunk in case you become trapped inside. It may be uncomfortable, but it's better than a DUI conviction!!!


  1. It appears the man was robbed by the law! I think he would have preferred to have been robbed by a random criminal at gunpoint and lost his wallet, then be robbed by the cops for $4,000! DUI law enforcement: the biggest threat to your safety when sleeping alone your car!

    Even when doing the right thing, which is not to drive if you are too drunk to drive, the man was stilled charged with a DUI! Maybe they should also charge someone with a DUI for walking in a parking lot next to a car. They could give them a DUI on the intent to drive drink drunk! Makes sense right??

  2. I heard about this story a couple of years ago and it was my understanding that the technicality that the police got him on (however wrong it is) was that he was sleeping in the driver's seat.

    We all agree that it's safer for someone to pull over if they don't feel comfortable driving but it was my understanding that the lesson to be learned here is to sleep in the passenger's seat or backseat.

    Again, I may have my details mixed up or be thinking about another case but it's probably worth looking into further.

    Of course these things always tend to vary from state to state.

  3. I think this is bs. A DUI is supposed to be for DRIVING under the influence. I remember in a law class that I took we were told that as long as the keys to your car are within your reach and a cop pulls up you can and will be charged with a DUI. You would think that it would be better to sleep it off rather than try to drive knowing you are too drunk. They are trying to find anyway possible now. They are charging people with DUI's on bicycles, motorized wheelchairs, etc. now days but charging someone with a DUI that is trying to sleep it off is ridiculous


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