Parked While Under the Influence

January 6, 2012

In many of the outlying areas of the state, particularly in areas near major freeways there has been an increase in arrests for DUI of those merely parked on the roadside.  The CHP is the biggest contributor of these cases with nearly a third of all DUI arrests in some areas attributed to drivers parked on the road in an impaired condition.  So what does the law say about these cases?

According to Matthew Ruff a well-known California DUI Attorney in Torrance, Courts treat these cases no different from any other drunk driving case.  CA law provides that a person must be proven to have driven in an impaired condition or drove while his or her BAC was at or above .08 percent.  Prosecutors can do this by way of direct or circumstantial evidence.  A good example of a circumstantial DUI driving case is when a motorist is found parked on the road drunk.  The DA will attempt to show that the accused was driving within three hours of the breath test by using the defendant’s own admissions, evidence that the officer drove past that location shortly before the arrest and the car wasn’t there or other factors such as proof drinking occurred close in time at a distant location.  However the D.A. chooses to prepare his case, it must be remembered that if the evidence points to two reasonable interpretations and one points to innocence, that interpretation that points to innocence must be adopted by the jury.  Therefore if a theory exist to show drinking after the car stopped,  or that another driver exists the outcome can be favorable to the defendant.

Should you or someone else be facing a drunk driving case involving a parked car consult a Kern County DUI Attorney for advice and specific guidance.