It goes without saying that drinking and driving is a serious and potentially dangerous crime. The legal repercussions of a DUI are suitably harsh to match, though it might strike many as unfair to realize that you can receive a DUI charge just for sitting in a parked car while drunk.
Learning more about how the law views the crime of DUI as it pertains to a stationary vehicle can help you protect yourself both before and after an arrest occurs.
Is it illegal to be in a parked car while drunk?
If you go out and then decide to have a few drinks, you might make the reasonable decision of waiting in your parked car afterward for another ride to show up. You might even decide to sleep it off in your backseat until you sober up. This type of activity is illegal, however, as it can indicate that you have the intent to drive while under the influence of alcohol.
How can you avoid a DUI conviction from sitting in a parked car?
The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office explains that the penalties for a DUI conviction can include fines and fees of more than $10,000 as well as jail time, especially if aggravating circumstances escalate it to a felony offense. One way to prevent a DUI charge involving a stationary vehicle is to leave your keys elsewhere if you must go to your vehicle for any reason while drunk. If you do receive a DUI charge, you have the option to build a defense based on your lack of intent or capacity to drive while drunk.
Law enforcement officers are well within their rights to arrest an inebriated individual in a parked car, but there are viable options for defending yourself against such charges.