In order to be guilty of DRIVING under the influence, a person has to be DRIVING a vehicle. Seems simple, right? WRONG! Driving becomes an issue in a surprising number of cases, situations in which officers do not observe a person driving, and jump to unwarranted conclusions.
One of the most common situation where the issue of driving arises is where police get the WRONG driver. This often involves an accident where there is more than one person in the car. In some cases, the actual driver leaves the scene of the accident. The actual driver leaves to either seek help or out of fear of the consequences of the accident. The actual driver has often been drinking himself, is not legally in the country, or lacks a valid driver‘s license or insurance. When the actual driver leaves the scene, it leaves his passenger at the scene to take the blame for the accident. If he has been drinking, police officers are quick to jump to the false conclusion that he was the driver, especially where the actual driver is nowhere to be found.
There are also situations where a police officer comes into contact with a person sitting in a vehicle while under the influence. Many police officers will try to prove that the person was driving the vehicle while under the influence at some earlier time, a conclusion that is often unwarranted. Our office obtained a dismissal of a DUI in which our client, distraught over the death of a relative, sat in his parked car and drank in a parking lot, without driving under the influence at any point.
There are many other odd cases that I have seen over the years involving the issue of driving, including cars being pushed by hand and people sitting with the engine running. The bottom line is that the law requires "volitional movement of the vehicle", actual intentional movement of the vehicle in some form.
Do you need the services of an exceptional dui attorney in Southern California including Los Angeles and Orange County? The dui lawyer in our Orange County office has extensive experience in criminal law as both a high profile prosecutor and public defender. Attorney Mike Brewer can help. Contact us for more information.