Can I get a DUI on private property?
Can I really get a DUI while on private property?
A common misconception is that being on private property eliminates you from being arrested or charged with a DUI. And while you would think you could simply be on private property, possibly not even driving, your determination would be wrong. Now, the short answer: yes, you can get a DUI on private property. Let's take some time to specifically unpack why, and what this looks like.
Is drinking and driving on private property permissible?
Generally speaking, each State is afforded the option to arrest a DUI suspect who is operating a motor vehicle on or off private property. An example would be: you have been drinking, you are sitting in your car, in your own (or a friend's) driveway. The police would have the right to question and assess the situatuion. If they have significant suspicion that you will be operating the vehicle you are in, and you are not considered safe, no matter where the vehicle is located they are allowed to arrest you and charge you with a DUI. It is very important to remember that each State has their own guidelines to define the process by which they charge a DUI, define whether you intend to drive, and consider you safe. Some of those criteria to look into for your specific State would be:
- sitting in the vehicle but not driving
- having your seatbelt on
- the car engine running but still in park
- "sleeping it off" inside the vehicle with the engine off
- keys in the ignition but idoling
It is the responsibility of Law Enforcement to determine that you are safe to operate a motor vehicle and to test your ability to do so according to the measure set by the State. Below is a quick list of places that are usually considered to be safe to drive after consuming alcohol and without police intervention:
- stadium parking lots
- golf courses
- convenient store parking lots
- bar parking lots
- dirt roads
As with any decision to consume alcohol, you would be wise to understand your State's guidelines for driving on private property, the limitations of what that means for you, and follow the rules. The safest plan is always to appoint a designated driver, that way you would have complete confidence to drink and not place anyone, including yourself, in harm's way. As with all DUI charges, you will be required to follow your State's compliance rules in seeing the process of payment or expungement for your DUI charge, whether you were driving or not. Hiring an experienced lawyer will be your best choice, as their professional experience will assist you in setting the best course of action for your particular circumstances and successfully move beyond a DUI charge.
Previous QuestionCan I get a DUI if I was under the limit?
Next QuestionCan I get a DWI while not driving?