Is It Possible To Receive A DUI Charge Without Driving The Vehicle?

Is It Possible To Receive A DUI Charge Without Driving The Vehicle?

A DUI charge creates the illusion that a motorist must be swerving from lane to lane or creating a dangerous roadway for other motorists. However, Rhode Island is one of many states to utilize a DUI statute that is much broader in spectrum. In fact, there are several ways in which a motorist can be charged with a DUI without any observation of operation, including having your keys in the ignition or a warm engine. Remember, it is never condoned by the Craig Hein Law Firm to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated, but if you do find yourself in this unfortunate position, it is important you contact an experienced and proven DUI attorney immediately.

How Can I Be Charged With A DUI While Not In Motion?

Plainly stated, Rhode Island law 31-27-2, driving under influence of liquor or drugs, states that:

(a) Whoever drives or otherwise operates any vehicle in the state while under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, drugs, toluene, or any controlled substance as defined in chapter 28 of title 21, or any combination of these, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor except as provided in subdivision (d)(3) and shall be punished as provided in subsection (d) of this section.

Consequently, this law has been interpreted to include many situations that can lead to a DUI charge. Officers can attempt to prove operation of the vehicle despite the vehicle being stationary. For example, having your keys in the ignition with the car off could lead to a DUI charge. This would include if you are trying to “sleep it off” and decide to listen to the radio to make this time move faster. Also, in extreme circumstances, the state may try to prove you are operating a vehicle using indicators such as having the car lights on, the temperature of the engine, where you were located, and the position of the chair you are sitting in.


How Can This Be Avoided?

The easiest way to avoid this circumstance is to not get in the vehicle altogether. It is advised that alternative means of transportation (Uber, Lyft, a cab, or family member) be considered well in advance of consuming alcohol. Also, if you are stuck in a position where you are unable to find another means of transportation, keep your keys in your pocket and avoid moving the vehicle at all costs. Lastly, it is advised that if you are charged with DUI contact an attorney immediately and make no admission of guilt or statements to the police until you are under advisement of your counsel.


Contact RI Criminal Defense Lawyer Craig Hein

Attorney Craig Hein has been successful in defending those who have been criminally accused. Craig’s style is both aggressive and steadfast. From your first conversation with him, you will realize both his capability in the court room and ability to alleviate much of your stress. Craig has made a living out of turning problems into solutions and does not rest until he does everything possible to achieve a desirable outcome. For a free consultation please call 401-619-7214.