Friday, February 24, 2017

Can You Get a DUI for Just Sitting in Your Car Drunk in Maryland?

Believe it or not, you CAN be charged with DUI in Maryland if you are found sitting in your car while intoxicated. While this may sound counter-intuitive, everything hinges on the statutory language, "actual physical control." In Maryland, according to the statute, a person can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) for driving or attempting to drive intoxicated, which includes simply being in "actual physical control" of the vehicle.

Now, you may be wondering, what does "actual physical control" of the vehicle mean. In deciding whether someone is in "actual physical control," the Court will consider whether the engine is running, whether you are in the driver's seat, whether you are asleep or awake, where the ignition key is located, whether the headlights are on, and whether you are in a roadway or legally parked. So, for example, if you are found by police just sitting in the driver's seat of your car, with the keys in the ignition, Courts have found that that constitutes "actual physical control" of a vehicle and a person can be found guilty of a DUI.

If you've been charged with DUI in Maryland, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Portner & Shure today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

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