Can You Be Charged with a DUI Sleeping In Your Car?

Is it possible to get a DUI simply by sleeping in the front seat of your car? This question may seem like one of those urban myths or misconceptions regarding the way laws actually work (of which there are many). However, it may surprise you that there are actually some legal grounds to this claim; you could actually be arrested for DUI if the police find you intoxicated and sleeping in your car.

What Does the Law Say?
In the state of Florida, the law states that you are prohibited from “operating” a vehicle after drinking enough to become intoxicated. However, the law does not explicitly say you have to be driving in order to be found guilty. So thus, if the police find you in your car sleeping, you could potentially still be charged with DUI.

However, in order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution will be required to prove that you had actual physical control of the vehicle, which could include:

  • If you are awake
  • If your headlights are on
  • What seat you are in
  • If the key is in the ignition
  • If the vehicle is legally parked
  • If the engine is running
  • What position you are found in the vehicle

People have been convicted of a DUI for sleeping in their car with the keys in their pocket, sitting in the driver seat listening to music, and even falling asleep in the driver seat with their seatbelt on.

This is not a cut-and-dry DUI charge though, since as mentioned, the law only states that you must have control of your vehicle in order to be convicted. It is up to your prosecution to demonstrate that you were in control of your vehicle by doing any of these actions, a claim which a skilled DUI attorney can help you refute.

At Herman Law, P.A., our West Palm Beach DUI attorney has been recognized as one of Florida’s top legal defenders and is highly qualified to help you fight back against your charges. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Herman is familiar with the mindset and arguments your prosecution will use in your case, and can help coordinate your defense utilizing his experience and detailed knowledge.

To schedule your free consultation, call Herman Law, P.A. at 888-342-0622.