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Can You Get a DUI While Parked in New York?


Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in New York. If found guilty of DUI, you could face several legal consequences, including jail time, fines, and driver’s license suspension or revocation. Often, people are charged with DUI when they are actively driving with a BAC level that is above the legally allowed limit. Usually, the police will pull over a driver if they have reasonable suspicion of impairment and then conduct further tests to determine if the driver is impaired and their level of impairment. However, in New York, it is possible to get a DUI while parked. Such arrests are not common, but they happen.

Understanding the Meaning of DUI Under New York DUI Law

The New York State and Traffic Law Section 1192 states that no individual shall operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The key word here is “operate.” Operating a motor vehicle is not the same as driving a motor vehicle. In other words, actual physical movement of a car is not necessary to be charged with a DUI in New York. Usually, the main issue in DUI cases is whether the driver had “actual physical control” of the car.

If you are found in a parked car in New York, several factors will be considered to determine if you have “actual physical control” of the car. The following are some of the key factors that are usually considered when determining whether an individual has actual physical control of a vehicle;

  • Location: If, for instance, you are found seated in the driver’s seat, this could strengthen the case for DUI.
  • Key possession: If you have the keys and the ability to start the vehicle, you will likely be seen as having actual physical control of the vehicle.
  • Intent: For example, if you are found in a parked car with the key in the ignition, it could be argued that you intended to drive while under the influence.
  • Evidence of operation: If there is evidence that you had recently operated or tried to operate the car, it could support a finding of actual physical control.

Sleeping in a Parked Vehicle

Now that you know you can get a DUI while parked in New York, you may be wondering if you can get a DUI while sleeping in a parked vehicle. What happens will highly likely depend on where you are parked. If you are found sleeping in the parking lot of a bar, you could argue that you were trying to “sleep it off.” On the other hand, if you are found sleeping in a parking lot far away from the bar, you may be in trouble. That shows that you drove the car while under the influence. If found sleeping miles away from the bar, you could be arrested and charged with DUI.

Contact an NYC DUI/DWUI/DWAI Attorney

If you are arrested and charged with DUI in New York, contact our skilled and dedicated NYC DUI/DWUI/DWAI attorney, Mark I. Cohen, for legal help. Our office has helped countless DUI defendants fight their charges. We can help you fight the charges against you and achieve the best possible outcome.



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