5 Things You Should Know About Driving And Impairment Charges

There is a variety of ways you can receive a impaired driving charge, such as DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or OMVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated) or others. This article will discuss five of these, and it is possible that you may not be aware of some of them. 

1. You don't have to be driving to get a DUI.

You may pull off the road, go to sleep in the backseat, and still receive a DUI charge if there is any indication that you have been drinking or under the influence of drugs. The key point is that you would still be in control of the car, especially if you have left the keys in the ignition, have them on your person, or have easy access to them. The officer will also be considering how you got to the spot where you parked, and what condition you were in as you were driving there.

2. You could get a DUI in various types of transportation besides cars.

If you are impaired by substances and in control of some type of conveyance you could receive a charge. It depends on what your state considers a vehicle. Some state laws specify that it has to be motorized and some do not. Some state laws specify which types of motorized conveyances are considered vehicles for the purposes of criminal charges.

In some states, you can get a DUI-type charge for using these modes of transportation while impaired:

In these cases, the charge is likely to be a misdemeanor rather than a felony, and it may rely on whether a police officer's discretion. If the officer thinks your behavior is unsafe or is causing a disturbance, you are likely to be charged with something, if only disturbing the peace.

3. You can be charged with impairment on private property.

The information on sleeping in a car and mode of transportation begs this question: Can you get a charge if you are on private property? The answer is yes. You can be sleeping off your spirits in a discount store parking lot or be driving a cart on a golf course and receive a DUI.

4. It's possible to get charged even if you were a passenger and not the driver.

In some states like New Jersey, the law holds you responsible if you allowed another to drive while drunk, especially if the vehicle in question is yours. Also, if you were intoxicated, and you tried to take control of the vehicle, you could also be charged.

5. You should consult a DUI attorney ASAP if you receive a DUI type charge.

If you are pulled over, you should respectfully defer answering questions about your prior activities until you have conferred with a lawyer (such as one from Jack Weatherill Law Offices). Otherwise something you say in innocuously could be construed as incriminating. You can refuse to take a field sobriety test, but you will probably have your license suspended for refusing to take a blood alcohol or breathalyzer test.