Can You Be Charged With A DUI If Caught Sleeping in Your Car?

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Can You Be Charged With A DUI If Caught Sleeping in Your Car?


The short answer to the question above is yes. The common scenario is that you have been drinking and decide not to drive and instead fall asleep in your car with your keys in the ignition and you’re in the driver seat snoozing away. If at some point an officer shows up and begins to ask you questions and if you talk, then you might say the wrong thing that can potentially start your troubles. How can you get in trouble if you tried to do the right thing? I answer this question below.

Circumstantial Evidence

Circumstantial evidence can be used to support your conviction. Circumstantial evidence is defined as: 

– The existence and presentation of one or more evidentiary facts. 

– A process of inference, by which these facts are connected with the facts sought, trending to produce a persuasion of their truth. 

What does the above mean? Basically circumstantial evidence is evidence that can be used to draw an inference. Taking this definition of circumstantial evidence and applying to the hypothetical above, the prosecutor can argue that you were driving under the influence at some point if your keys are in your ignition while you are asleep on the driver seat. Although this a weak argument, it can happen.

Quick Tips

Here are a few tips in the event that you have to sleep in order to sober up:

1. Sleep in the backseat or passenger seat

2. Secure your keys in your glove compartment or center console

3. Don’t talk to the police if they show up and ask you questions– it is your right not to speak against yourself. 

4. Don’t fall for tricky police tactics, such as “if you don’t cooperate then you will go to jail” or “I am trying to help you.”

Good Defense Attorney

If you are charged with a DUI because you fell asleep on your driver seat after a few drinks, then you need to contact us so we can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Our team at the Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher has the knowledge and experience to help you when facing these types of charges, so call us today at 800-797-8406 to schedule your free consultation or visit for more information.

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