You don’t have to be driving to be arrested for a DUI
Proof of “driving,” for purpose of determining whether the defendant was a operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor, does not require an eyewitness to the driving; it may be shown by circumstantial evidence. Also, one does not have to actually be stopped by law enforcement to be arrested for Driving Under the Influence. It can be proven by circumstantial evidence. This means that if you are sitting behind the wheel, although not driving, that may be enough for you to receive a DUI charge. I have seen this happen to clients who are sitting in their car at a gas station or restaurant.
The Kansas Supreme Court has held, “we have concluded that the word ‘operate’ as used in section (a ) of that (DUI) statute should be construed to mean ‘drive ‘, thus requiring some evidence, either direct or circumstantial, that the defendant drove the automobile while intoxicated in order for the defendant to be convicted under that section. Proof of driving does not require an eyewitness to the driving. It may be shown by circumstantial evidence…”
As you are out enjoying this holiday season, be aware of the laws and of your options. Just sitting behind the wheel may be enough to have an officer believe you were operating that vehicle and may change your holiday plans for the worse.
To learn more, check out my recent article in Splurge magazine or follow my blog.