You already know that drinking and driving is illegal and dangerous, so you chose not to do it. However, if you have nowhere else to go other than your car, you may not have a lot of options on where you can sleep it off. Even if you are doing the right thing by not drinking and driving, can you still get a DUI?
Where the law stands
Unfortunately, it is still possible to get a DUI for sleeping in the back of your car while intoxicated. If officers are able to prove that you were driving while intoxicated before they found you sleeping in your car, they may charge you with a DUI. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help avoid these charges.
Your ultimate goal before sleeping in your car is to eliminate any suspicion that you have the intent of driving soon or that you were recently driving. By sleeping in the back of your car, you can make it clear that you are not about to drive. Another tip is to keep your keys off your person by putting them in the trunk or glove compartment/glove box of your car.
Falling asleep in the driver’s seat, while the car is running, or even with your keys in your pocket has been enough to convict someone of a DUI even though they were not driving their car at all.
Play it safe to avoid a conviction
Driving is the last thing you should do if you are under the influence. Instead, look for other ways to get home, either by rideshare, catching a ride home, or calling someone to come get you. If you have to sleep in your car, make sure you are taking the necessary precautions to show that you were not driving and had no intention of driving before going to sleep.