Darryl A. Goldberg
24/7 assistance | Se habla español
PLEASE NOTE: our office remains open and available to serve you during the COVID-19 crisis. We are attempting to limit in person consultations and offering our clients alternatives such as telephone consultations or via other confidential electronic means. We are available for in person meetings in limited and appropriate circumstances. Please call our office to discuss your options and rest assured we are continually working and here to help.

Can I be charged with a DUI even though I wasn't driving?

It may seem inconceivable that a person can be charged with a DUI without even driving. After all, the principal element of the crime is that the accused was operating a motor vehicle. Nevertheless, there are countless people across the state of Illinois who are charged with drunk driving who are found asleep behind the wheel of a car that is not running, or even outside of their car in a parking lot.

These people, who seem like driving is the last thing on their minds, are victims of the “actual physical control” doctrine. This essentially means that a person who is intoxicated and is behind the wheel or is in close proximity to their vehicle can be charged with a crime because of the likelihood that a person will turn the car on and drive away. 

It would seem that if an officer had these suspicions, he or she would simply wait till the driver woke up and make an arrest. However, for a person who is passed out, there’s no sense in waiting around for he or she to drive. At the same time, law enforcement officers cannot sit and hover, waiting for a suspected drunk driver to drive.

So if you are charged with drunk driving and were in (or near) your vehicle and have no intention of driving, it is important that you review the situation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, as well as the consequences of a conviction.

The preceding is presented for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact us today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Connect with us

Darryl A. Goldberg
33 North Dearborn Street
Suite 1830
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 773-793-3196
Fax: 312-782-7074
Chicago Law Office Map

Email Us