Drinking and driving causes many preventable injuries and deaths each year. Many people choose not to drink and drive by sleeping in their vehicles, and while this may sound like a good idea at first, it can easily cause more problems than it’s worth. It is common for a “sleeping it off” session to turn into a DUI conviction. Many people might ask, “How can a person get a DUI while sleeping?” Well, it’s a matter of technicalities.
While it may seem obvious to a person sleeping in a vehicle that no drinking and driving has taken place, it is not as obvious to a casual observer. All over the country, law enforcement is instructed to assume that an inebriated person sitting behind the steering wheel of a vehicle either has been driving said vehicle or will begin driving it at any moment. Because of this assumption, many people who think they are making a wise decision end up being convicted of a DUI while sleeping.
To be fair, it makes perfect sense to assume that a drunk driver could awaken and begin driving. It is the responsibility of drinkers to make sure they never put themselves in a position to be tempted to drive. Enough studies have shown that inebriated people have slower reaction times and think less clearly, so we understand that these findings can be applied to situations in which a person is behind the wheel, regardless of the reason. It is difficult to prove that a person who has been drinking and is sitting behind the wheel of a car has not been driving and has no intention to drive. Law enforcement must err on the side of caution.
In order to overcome charges related to DUI while sleeping, individuals would have to prove that the vehicle was inoperable at the time. This may include having the vehicle towed to a mechanic to get verified proof that the individual was never able to operate the vehicle. With these types of charges, it is the ability to operate the vehicle that provides the trouble. If the individual can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the vehicle was incapable of being operated (as opposed to driven), it is possible that the charges will be removed. In situations such as this, it is best to hire a DUI attorney, because attorneys would know whether or not the case can be won.