It is a warm summer night. You have just left a friend’s house party and have had more than a few drinks. You walk over to your car, get in, and turn on the radio. At this point, you realize you are too intoxicated to drive, so you keep the car parked, recline your seat back, and decide to take a short nap until you are sober enough to get yourself home safely. Before you know it, a police officer is charging you with driving under the influence (DUI). How can this be? You were not even driving!
Unfortunately, this exact story happens to good people far too often. Under Kansas law, a person may be charged with DUI if they are seated in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition – even if the police officer had no visible proof that the accused actually moved their car. A person needs only to be in control of a vehicle and capable of moving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in order to be charged with DUI. Being convicted of DUI, however, is a different matter.
The prosecution will need to prove that a driver actually operated their vehicle while intoxicated in order to secure a DUI conviction. In essence, they will need to be able to demonstrate that you voluntarily made your car move – even if it was only a distance of a few feet.
The following acts can all be considered “driving”:
- Temporarily steering for someone else while riding as a passenger
- Rolling a car with the engine off while in neutral gear
- Backing up or driving a few feet before stopping
It is important to note that in a DUI case, you do not have to prove that you were not driving. If you claim you were not driving, the prosecution has the burden to attempt to prove otherwise. Regardless, if you should ever find yourself in a similar situation, it is vital you retain the services of a powerful lawyer as soon as possible to minimize your chances of conviction.
High-Caliber Olathe DUI Attorney
At Garretson & Toth, LLC, our team of Olathe DUI lawyers have fought to defend the rights of the accused for more than 20 years and can provide the aggressive defense you need for your DUI case. Having earned a ranking on The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 list and a Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ inclusion for our unmatched advocacy and results, your case is sure to be in excellent hands.
Call (913) 971-0296 or schedule a no-cost case review today to review your legal options.