DUI While I Am Asleep

We recently gained a dismissal for a client who was asleep in his car, pulled off of the highway, on an exit. While it wasn’t completely clear what his exact location was, he was not on the lined roadway, at least partially in the gravel. The issue of when and where you can be charged with DUI can be confusing and the lines certainly aren’t clear.

Our client was very upset, both during and after his arrest, that he could be harassed and arrested for DUI when he pulled his car off the road, doing what he thought to be appropriate when he was too sleepy to drive. In Tennessee, DUI laws cover far more scenarios than you might think. While most realize they cover driving a vehicle on a public road or areas open to the public, the DUI law also covers circumstances when you are in physical control of a vehicle. The difficulty is in determining what the phrase “physical control” means. Many courts use the general test of “can the operator easily and simply control the movement of the vehicle.” People have been convicted of pushing their car to a gas station while impaired. The law states there is no bright line test when you can be found to be in physical control of a vehicle, but some factors to consider are: Was the car engine running? Were the keys within reach of the occupant? Was the occupant in the front seat? Was the vehicle capable of being operated? The sign of the best criminal defense lawyers is when they recognize the issues that can prevent a DUI conviction. For 23 years I have specialized in defending citizens in the Mount Juliet and Lebanon areas against DUI accusations.

If you have any questions about being in physical control of an automobile or truck in Tennessee, have been charged with DUI in Gallatin, Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Carthage/Smith County, Hartsville/Trousdale County, Murfreesboro and Nashville, Lannom & Williams Attorneys are best for you, give a call at (615) 444–2900 or visit us at 137 Public Square, Lebanon, TN 37087. My office is in the Lebanon, Tennesee and I have been defending cases in all Middle Tennessee counties, with the bulk being in the Mt. Juliet and Lebanon, Tennessee area. You can get directions here.

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