Can You Get a DUI While Sleeping in Your Car?

Arrested for Sleeping While Intoxicated?

Colorado law makes it a convictable offense for a driver to be intoxicated in a vehicle that is operable or reasonably capable of being rendered operable. A driver is in physical control of a vehicle, not just someone actively driving. In layman’s terms, if you could have feasibly just stopped driving before the police officer found you, then you can be arrested for a DUI. The same applies if you could have feasibly began driving within a moment had the police officer not found you roadside.

Intoxicated While in Physical Control of a Vehicle

It is reasonable to assume that most people think it is safe, responsible, and entirely legal to sleep in their car while intoxicated to avoid drunk driving. While this practice is, of course, infinitely safer and more responsible than drunk driving, it is not legal. If you get spotted napping in your car while waiting to sober up by a police officer, you can and will likely be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).

The court may decide you were in physical control of a vehicle depending on several factors, such as:

  • Where your vehicle was found.
  • Where you were sitting or lying in the vehicle.
  • Whether or not the keys were in the ignition.
  • Whether or not the vehicle was running.

In effect, you can get arrested and charged for a DUI so long as you are alone in a vehicle and intoxicated. Turning on the heater to stay warm, listening to the radio, charging your phone, and other actions that require the car to be started will only increase your chances of being arrested for a “parked car DUI.”

Avoiding a Parked Car DUI with Our Team

If you have been charged with a parked car DUI, it is imperative that you get in touch with the Law Office of Kevin Cahill, our Denver DUI lawyer. We can help you understand the charges, evaluate the evidence against you, and come up with a solid plan to reach the best possible outcome for your case.


Contact us today for a FREE consultation.


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