When a person has become intoxicated and isn’t able to drive home, often the best and only choice for some is to sleep it off in their car. However, here in the State of Nevada you could find yourself with a DUI. Depending on the situation, and if two factors or conditions occur, then you may find yourself with a DUI charge for sleeping while intoxicated. Kajioka & Associates Attorneys at Law will explain Nevada DUI laws concerning sleeping in your vehicle while intoxicated.
Legal Definition of DUI
The two conditions that result in a DUI are that you’re found impaired from the consumption of alcohol or drugs and that your blood contains more than the legal limit for your usage. Second, you’re in actual control of a motor vehicle. If these two factors need to occur, then why does sleeping in your car while intoxicated result in a DUI? There are a number of conditions the state follows that must be met to charge someone with a DUI, especially if they are found sleeping. If you’re intoxicated and sitting in the driver’s seat and or have your keys in the ignition, you are considered in control of the vehicle. Even if the vehicle isn’t running, you’re still considered in the act of driving under the influence. Is your vehicle lights on? If so, this is another indicator of intent to drive under the influence.
DUI Penalties; What is the Punishment
If you’re found sleeping in your vehicle while in the driver seat, have your lights on or a key in the ignition, you’re in the act of driving under the influence or intoxicated and can be charged with an DUI. Additionally, sleeping in your vehicle will have the same penalties of a regular DUI. First time offenders can be penalized with six months jail time and up to a $1,000.00 fine. The individual’s drivers license can also be suspended for up to three months. Some additional requirements, such as DUI School and Victim Panel class, may also follow.
How to Sleep in Your Car & Avoid a DUI
These penalties may seem unfair when your intentions were to be responsible and sleep the effects of the intoxication off before attempting to drive home. There are some exceptions to every rule. If you can’t call for a ride home while intoxicated, and your best choice is to sleep it off, here is what you should do to avoid a DUI.
• Make sure you sleep inside your vehicle with all of the doors and windows closed and vehicle locked.
• Sleep in the back or passenger side of your vehicle and not in the driver’s seat.
• Do not have your keys in the ignition. You may want to have your key in view in the event an officer swings by. Of course, don’t have your vehicle lights or engine on.
• Be sure your vehicle is lawfully and legally parked.
Las Vegas Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Business Attorneys & More in Greater Las Vegas, Nevada
If you were arrested for sleeping in your vehicle and charged with a DUI, contact a defense attorney. You are entitled to a proper defense. Remember to drink responsibly and follow Nevada DUI laws. You can sleep in your vehicle, but only under the right circumstances. Contact Kajioka & Associates Attorney at Law if you have been charged with a DUI or other crime.