Can You Sleep In Your Car If You Are Too Drunk To Drive?

Can You Sleep In Your Car If You Are Too Drunk To Drive?

Sleeping in your car 

If you decide to sleep in your car instead of driving, you may think this is a smart idea to avoid getting a DUI, however, chances of getting a DUI are still high. If you move your car 6 inches or 6 feet to a parking space to have a nap, that is still classed as driving and you could be charged with a DUI.

If you do not move your car at all and are sleeping in the front or back seat, you could raise suspicion of an officer and he could do a full DUI check, even if the keys are not in the ignition. In Arizona, there is a presumption that even if you are not driving, you have the ability to set the car in motion.

It has been documented that many people in Arizona have been arrested while even being outside of the vehicle, these circumstances are situations regarding “actual physical control.” If the government can prove as part of your case that you did drive to a location while under the influence, you can be prosecuted for DUI.

Below is a list of some of the things officers will look for when deciding whether to arrest you for a DUI:

  • Whether or not the vehicle was running or the ignition was turned on.
  • Where the ignition key was located.
  • Where and in what position the driver was found in the vehicle.
  • Whether the person was awake or asleep.
  • If the vehicle’s headlights were on.
  • Where the vehicle was stopped (on the road or legally parked).
  • Whether the driver had voluntarily pulled off the road.
  • The time of day and the weather conditions.
  • If the heater or air conditioner were turned on.
  • Whether the windows were up or down.
  • And any explanation advanced by the defense.


So what should you do if you feel you are too drunk to drive? If your car is not in a safe location do not move it, have a sober friend help you move it, give you a ride, or call a cab. If it is located in a safe location and you feel you have no other option than to sleep inside your car, do not put the key in the ignition, get in the backseat if your car has one, if not the passenger seat. If you absolutely must start the car to use the use of heat or air conditioner, then prepare to be questioned by the police as they may think your drove it there.

If the police happen to arrive at the location, you should invoke your rights to remain silent as any explanation you provide could contribute to a bigger DUI charge. If you happen to get taken into custody, you should call an experienced DUI lawyer as they will know how to challenge the arrest and navigate the situation to your benefit. Call one of our experienced attorneys at the DUI Defense Team at 520-222-2222.

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Tucson, AZ. 85716