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Thread: Sleeping DUI

  1. #1
    NSTAR is offline Junior Member
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    Sleeping DUI

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Pennsylvania

    First of all, let me say that what I did was really, really dumb. I realize this, and I also realize the cops are just doing their job, but I need a way to get this offense at least dropped down. I was at the bar, left with my buddy who said he was taking me home. He drove my car, to another location, where his car was parked, and left. I don't know why, because I don't remember this part. I woke up about an hour later and was freezing (it was about 10 deg out), so I turned the car on, and passed back out. I only intended to warm the car up, turn it back off and go back to sleep. Around 430 I woke up and a cop was shaking me shining a flashlight in my face. They performed field sobriety, breathalyzer of .143, then took me for blood tests. Arrested for DUI. First of all what is valid as a "roadway"? The car was way back in the corner of a parking lot. What could my options be for a plea bargain? I have no previous record, not even underage violations.
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    First, hire an attorney.
    Second, call your local AA chapter.
  3. #3
    NSTAR is offline Junior Member
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    I don't need AA, I never do this. It was the first time I had gone out in over a month, and I just lost control a little bit. I can't remember the last time I was drunk enough to lose consciousness, maybe high school.
  4. #4
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSTAR View Post
    I don't need AA, I never do this. It was the first time I had gone out in over a month, and I just lost control a little bit. I can't remember the last time I was drunk enough to lose consciousness, maybe high school.
    and this proves you really DO need AA.

    what was that first sign.....DENIAL?
  5. #5
    NSTAR is offline Junior Member
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    I'm not looking for lifestyle advice, just some legal advice. I am a college student, and I got a little carried away with my buddies at the bar when a few free shots came my way. I am not a frequent binge drinker, just one bad night. Many people have done the same thing. If you want proof go to a company Christmas party. So anyway, I talked to a public defender and they told me all I can do is take the ARD and fine, and there is nothing else I can do. I want to know if this is really my only option, because I have to hire a lawyer anyway because I don't qualify for a public defender. So is it worth the money to go to trial, or should I just accept the ARD and all the other consequences?
  6. #6
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSTAR View Post
    I'm not looking for lifestyle advice, just some legal advice. I am a college student, and I got a little carried away with my buddies at the bar when a few free shots came my way. I am not a frequent binge drinker, just one bad night. Many people have done the same thing. If you want proof go to a company Christmas party. So anyway, I talked to a public defender and they told me all I can do is take the ARD and fine, and there is nothing else I can do. I want to know if this is really my only option, because I have to hire a lawyer anyway because I don't qualify for a public defender. So is it worth the money to go to trial, or should I just accept the ARD and all the other consequences?
    here's the problem. you were in a running vehicle. it was turned on, keys ignition. cops saw this. there is no evidence of your friend.

    you now have a DUI charge. alcohol has affected your actions. and now, it affects your future.

    unless you have the money to pay for an attorney to even go to trial to take a chance on a lesser charge, take the ARD, which by the way, you will be ordered to AA.
  7. #7
    cyjeff is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSTAR View Post
    I'm not looking for lifestyle advice, just some legal advice. I am a college student, and I got a little carried away with my buddies at the bar when a few free shots came my way. I am not a frequent binge drinker, just one bad night. Many people have done the same thing. If you want proof go to a company Christmas party. So anyway, I talked to a public defender and they told me all I can do is take the ARD and fine, and there is nothing else I can do. I want to know if this is really my only option, because I have to hire a lawyer anyway because I don't qualify for a public defender. So is it worth the money to go to trial, or should I just accept the ARD and all the other consequences?
    First, leave the "everybody does it so when I do it it is okay" crap at the door. It doesn't matter what everyone else does or doesn't do....

    I always recommend getting a lawyer. And I would start AA classes before court.
  8. #8
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    A parking lot open to public motor vehicle traffic is legally the same as being out on the street, it's a public highway.
  9. #9
    dalejrfan8 is offline Junior Member
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    A parking lot open to public motor vehicle traffic is legally the same as being out on the street, it's a public highway.

    Check your laws. We're in Illinois......hubby got out of a DUI. The way public roadway is written here with the implied consent law (he didn't blow) does not apply to private property. There are ways to fight... I spent hours looking up laws...He got a DUI reduced to reckless driving, VIP class, court costs/fines around $1200, no lawyers involved....
  10. #10
    paguy88 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSTAR View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Pennsylvania

    First of all, let me say that what I did was really, really dumb. I realize this, and I also realize the cops are just doing their job, but I need a way to get this offense at least dropped down. I was at the bar, left with my buddy who said he was taking me home. He drove my car, to another location, where his car was parked, and left. I don't know why, because I don't remember this part. I woke up about an hour later and was freezing (it was about 10 deg out), so I turned the car on, and passed back out. I only intended to warm the car up, turn it back off and go back to sleep. Around 430 I woke up and a cop was shaking me shining a flashlight in my face. They performed field sobriety, breathalyzer of .143, then took me for blood tests. Arrested for DUI. First of all what is valid as a "roadway"? The car was way back in the corner of a parking lot. What could my options be for a plea bargain? I have no previous record, not even underage violations.

    if you have no previous criminal history... ARD would be your best option. Full expungement of charge if you do everything they ask.

    at .143 BAC you will lose your DL for 30 days expect costs around 1500 bucks in fines.
  11. #11
    JIMinCA is offline Member
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    Paguy,

    Don't get discouraged by the vultures who would pick at the flesh of a man who is experiencing adversity. I know people here are trying to discourage you by their ridiculous claims that you are an alcoholic. The stupidest statement was by Isis:

    and this proves you really DO need AA.

    what was that first sign.....DENIAL?
    So, Isis, if I acuse you of being an alcoholic and you deny it... is that evidence that you really are one? How dumb.

    So, back to the original issue. From a common sense perspective, these laws were supposedly passed and are enforced in an effort to ensure safety. It seems to me that you recognized that you were NOT fit to drive and made the reasonable decision to stay in your vehicle and sleep instead of drive. So, your real crime was that you were cold. No sense there.

    Now, for the legal issue. I am not really up on DUI laws, but as a first blush, this is what I see:

    23152. (a) It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence
    of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence
    of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.
    Now, this doesn't say you have to drive the vehicle on the highway... so the parkinglot thing is moot. However, what does "drive" mean??? Were you driving??

    I could find no definition of "drive", but I did find:

    310. A "driver's license" is a valid license to drive the type of
    motor vehicle or combination of vehicles for which a person is
    licensed under this code or by a foreign jurisdiction.
    So, do you need a drvier's license to start a vehicle? I don't think so. Starting the motor of a vehicle is NOT the same as driving.

    How about this one:

    305. A "driver" is a person who drives or is in actual physical
    control of a vehicle.
    If the car is stopped and the transmission is in park, the person who is sitting behind the wheel is no more in "actual physical control" of the vehicle than a person sitting in the back seat. Now, once the car is put into drive, the person sitting behind the wheel is in actual physical control. So, by definition, if you were not a "driver", then you weren't "driving". If you weren't "driving", then you could not have violated the dui laws.

    I say... get a lawyer and fight this stupid charge. If I were to accept a plea bargain, it would be for public intoxication... that's it!! Don't let these idiots make a criminal out of you when you were being responsible and doing the right thing.
  12. #12
    ElvinMelvin is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIMinCA View Post
    Now, for the legal issue. I am not really up on DUI laws, but as a first blush, this is what I see:
    This is pretty clear from the fact that you quoted a California statute for an offense in Pennsylvania.

    This is the statute that is salient:

    Section 3802. Driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance.

    (a) General impairment.

    (1) An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of
    the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such
    that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving, operating or being in
    actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.

    In a quick review, I found this, which might actually be helpful:

    Edward Solomon :
    :
    v. :
    :
    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, :
    Department of Transportation, :
    Bureau of Driver Licensing, : No. 303 C.D. 2008

    In the instant case Officer Muscareno
    discovered Solomon at approximately 3:00 a.m. asleep, in the reclined driver’s seat
    of his car, walking distance from a bar. Although the car was running, it is
    undisputed that it was cold and snowing that evening. Officer Muscarnero testified
    that he stopped because Solomon’s car was parked in a driving lane. Notes of
    Testimony, January 8, 2008 (N.T.) at 5; Reproduced Record (R.R.) at 8a.
    However, on cross examination Officer Muscarnero testified that it is common for
    cars to park where Solomon was parked; specifically he stated “[t]hey do park
    there for the club.” N.T. at 11; R.R. at 9a.
    Given the totality of the circumstances, the evidence falls short to
    support PennDOT’s argument that Solomon had exercised control over the
    movement of the vehicle at the time he was intoxicated. See Banner. There was
    no objective evidence presented to indicate Solomon had driven the vehicle at any
    point prior to the arrival of the police. Accordingly, the trial court’s finding that
    Officer Muscarnero did not have reasonable grounds to believe that Solomon was
    in actual physical control of the movement of his vehicle was supported by
    competent evidence.
    This does not fit OP's circumstance exactly i.e. since he was not parked right at the bar that may have been sufficient cause for the officer to believe that he had been in physical control of the movement of the vehicle while he was intoxicated. I guess it all depends on whether you can sell the story about your friend driving you to the parking lot. Any chance your buddy will testify to the fact that he drove you?
    Last edited by ElvinMelvin; 01-06-2010 at 12:00 PM.
  13. #13
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElvinMelvin View Post
    This is pretty clear from the fact that you quoted a California statute for an offense in Pennsylvania.

    This is the statute that is salient:




    In a quick review, I found this, which might actually be helpful:






    This does not fit OP's circumstance exactly i.e. since he was not parked right at the bar that may have been sufficient cause for the officer to believe that he had been in physical control of the movement of the vehicle while he was intoxicated. I guess it all depends on whether you can sell the story about your friend driving you to the parking lot. Any chance your buddy will testify to the fact that he drove you?
    and admit to being intoxicated HIMSELF???

    and um, when your drinking causes problems for yourself and/or others around you, it's a problem. denying it, is denying responsibility.
  14. #14
    ElvinMelvin is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isis1 View Post
    and admit to being intoxicated HIMSELF???
    Please point out where I wrote that the friend should incriminate himself. If he doesn't do something foolish like admitting to having driven intoxicated there is no way to prove that he did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isis1 View Post
    and um, when your drinking causes problems for yourself and/or others around you, it's a problem. denying it, is denying responsibility.
    And how is this relevant? OP came here for legal advice, not a moral judgement.
  15. #15
    JIMinCA is offline Member
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    EM,

    Whoops!!! You are right!! I was looking at CA cases and I opened this thread. I didn't shift gears. However, you made an EXCELLENT post above. And your comment about moral judgement is spot on. You are the kind of person that makes a site like this work.

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