In the state of Georgia, as in many states, you do not have to be caught in the act of driving a vehicle to be arrested for a DUI. If an officer has evidence that you are in what the state calls “physical control of a moving motor vehicle” while intoxicated, you may still be at risk of arrest.
Your “Physical Control” Can Lead to a Parked Car DUI Arrest
What could physical control look like?
- You may be in the driver’s seat of a parked car, running or not. Your keys may be in the ignition or your hands.
- You may be holding the keys of a parked car, and the engine is warm, or the headlights are on.
- You might have been in an accident and no longer in your vehicle, but no other drivers are present.
- You could make an incriminating statement indicating you were recently driving your car.
- You could even be steering a vehicle that is being towed by another vehicle.
If a person is found intoxicated in a car, but is not in possession of the keys or laying in the backseat, this will probably not stand up as sufficient evidence of physical control.
Circumstantial Evidence Can Lead to Your Arrest, Too
It is important to note that the state must have at least circumstantial evidence that suggests that you actually drove the car under the influence of a substance, even if they did not catch you while the vehicle was in motion. The officer is not required to witness you driving or have a witness statement that you were driving, as long as they have circumstantial evidence that indicates you were driving under the influence.
Arrested and Need Help? Call Ashley Schiavone
The case law surrounding this issue is substantial and can be best navigated by a seasoned attorney who understands the parameters of driving under the influence in Georgia. If you are arrested for a parked car DUI, we advise you to contact a defense lawyer as soon as possible. Ashley Schiavone can take a look at your case and see if there are ways your charges can be reduced or if it is a case that can be tried in court.