In the event of a DUI arrest and charge in Illinois, is it a good legal
defense to sleep the intoxication off in your vehicle? Unfortunately,
if you are drunk and asleep at the wheel of a non-moving car, you can
be subject to a DUI conviction.
According to the Illinois Criminal Code, a person shall not drive or be
in “actual physical control” of any vehicle within the state
while under the influence of alcohol. A person does not need to drive
to be in actual physical control of a vehicle, nor is the individual’s
intent to put the car in motion relevant to the determination of actual
The following are the common factors which may result in a DUI conviction,
despite trying to “sleep it off” to avoid a charge:
- Possession of the ignition key
- Physical capability to operate the vehicle
- Sitting in the driver’s seat
- Alone in the vehicle with the doors locked
If a person had no actual intention to drive away while drunk, the court
does not care. The idea here is that it is easy for an individual to change
their mind. A person asleep behind the wheel who has no actual intention
to drive could do so anyways.
Furthermore, law enforcement often assumes that a person found asleep behind
the wheel probably drove the vehicle to the location it was discovered.
In most cases, it is too difficult to make this finding beyond a reasonable
doubt, so the law does not require it.
If you were arrested and charged with a DUI in Illinois, despite not operating
your vehicle while intoxicated, your next best move is to obtain experienced
legal representation. The
Law Office of Steven Fine has successfully represented people who weren’t actually driving
on a DUI charges.
Contact Attorney Fine and schedule a
free consultation today.