Drunk driving is often associated with irresponsibility. However, what if an individual decides to “sleep it off” in their motor vehicle? Instead of driving home while impaired, individuals may responsibly choose to sleep in their car. However, in New York, individuals are not allowed to sleep in their cars while drunk. If they do fall asleep in their motor vehicle while intoxicated, they can be convicted of driving while under the influence (DUI). The courts do not deem this action as responsible. Alcohol dramatically hinders an individuals ability to make smart choices. An individual may have intended on driving their vehicle, however, they fell asleep before they could. Depending on the circumstances, individuals can be charged with a DUI for sleeping in their motor vehicle while intoxicated. In the unfortunate event you have been charged with a DUI for “sleeping it off,” contact a determined Garden City, NY DWI/DUI attorney who can help you fight these charges. Our firm is committed to helping our clients protect their rights and interests. We are ready to fight on your behalf today.
Will I be convicted of a DUI for sleeping in my car while drunk in New York?
In New York, intoxicated individuals can be charged with a DUI for “sleeping it off” in their motor vehicle. Regardless of whether or not an individual was operating their vehicle, they can still be convicted of a DUI. This is because they were intoxicated while in the driver’s seat of their motor vehicle. Under New York law, it is illegal to “operate” a motor vehicle after becoming intoxicated. If an individual operates a motor vehicle while their ability is impaired by alcohol or drugs, they can be charged with a DUI. The word “operate” typically defines controlling the function of a motor vehicle. However, the term “operate” in this case may mean turning the engine on or putting the key in the ignition. Ultimately, it comes down to intent. Individuals are more likely to be charged if they were sleeping in the drivers side and the engine was running. An intoxicated person may have intended to drive while impaired. If an individual was sleeping in the backseat of their motor vehicle, the engine was off, and their keys were not in the ignition, they will likely not be charged with a DUI. Typically, to determine an individuals intent, the following will be considered:
- Was the intoxicated individual sleeping in the driver’s seat?
- Was the engine running?
- Were the keys in the ignition?
- Were they in possession of their keys?
- Was their car disabled? (broken down)
- Where were they parked?
If you have been wrongfully charged with a DUI for sleeping while intoxicated in your motor vehicle, it is critical to reach out to a skilled Garden City, NY DWI/DUI attorney who can help prove your intent. With years of experience, our firm is on your side and can help defend your rights.