In Arizona, lawmakers take driving under the influence (DUI) very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that the law as it is written allows for a defendant to be found guilty of driving under the influence in some situations when the car is parked in a legal parking spot. It can even be illegal for an intoxicated person to sit in a car that had been turned off.

The reason that these situations are covered under Arizona’s DUI statute is because the statute makes it illegal for “a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle” while intoxicated. Of course, not every case where an intoxicated motorist is found inside a vehicle will result in a DUI charge. For example, if someone was sleeping in the back seat of the vehicle while parked with the keys out of the ignition and a cold engine, there would be a good argument that they were not, and did not intend to be, in “actual physical control” of the vehicle.

Cases in which a defendant is arrested and charged with DUI while parked or while the car was off depend heavily on every small fact. An experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney can help anyone charged with an Arizona DUI charge understand what they are facing and how they may be able to defend against the charges.

Recently, a man was arrested and charged with a series of crimes, including DUI and second-degree murder, after a woman rear-ended his parked vehicle. According to a local news report, the man had pulled his Jeep over into the leftmost lane shortly before 3 a.m. Moments later, several cars approached in the same lane. The first vehicle changed lanes in time to avoid a collision, but the second vehicle was unable to do so and crashed into the rear of the Jeep. The driver of that second vehicle died.

The driver of the Jeep told police that he was on his way home from the bar after having four beers. Police also noted that he smelled of alcohol after they removed him from the vehicle. He was arrested and charged with DUI and second-degree murder, among other charges.

More questions? Ask our Criminal Defense Attorneys in Phoenix!

Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer to handle your case will be extremely beneficial. Phoenix criminal defense attorney Jonathan Warshaw has over 20 years of experience in the Arizona criminal justice system and can help you take on the powerful state or federal attorneys trying to put you in jail. Mr. Warshaw have handled numerous criminal cases and can provide you with the attention, advice and guidance you need to get through this difficult and often overwhelming process. Please give us a call today at (480) 390-2537.