Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
photo of attorney Timothy P. Kelly

Can I get a DUI for “sleeping it off” in my car?

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2022 | Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving |

If you are facing DUI charges in Washington for “sleeping it off” in your car, you probably have questions about your situation and what your rights are.

Here are some answers to the questions you may have about Washington State DUI law.

Can I get a DUI for “sleeping it off” in my car?

While choosing to recover from a few drinks in your car instead of driving home seems like a good way to stay out of trouble with the law, the opposite may be true in Washington State. Police can still arrest you for driving under the influence in several scenarios. For example, if police find your car running and you behind the wheel with a high blood alcohol level, they can conclude that you were in control of a motor vehicle. Even if you never put the car in drive, the running car can suggest your intent to do so and lead to a DUI arrest. Similarly, circumstantial evidence like a warm engine and tire tracks can lead to an arrest.

How can I avoid this situation altogether?

Getting a safe ride home from a friend who has not been drinking, a taxi or rideshare service is a wise way to avoid DUI charges altogether. If these options are not available to you and sleeping in your car is the next safest choice, here are some things you can do to help you deter DUI charges:

  • Do not start the engine
  • Move to the passenger side or backseat
  • Place your keys far away from wherever you sleep

When you understand your rights under Washington DUI law, you can make plans to better protect yourself in the future.