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Is it Legal to Drink in a Parked Car?


If you are not driving while an officer approached your vehicle, you may be wondering whether or not this may constitute as a DUI. Under Mercer v. Department of Motor Vehicles, you can be convicted of DUI if you are sitting in a parked car, if and only if it can be proven that you were, at one point, driving while intoxicated. If a police officer suspects you of drinking and driving, you will be asked to partake in a number of sobriety tests such as a breath or blood test.

Circumstantial evidence, though flimsy, may still be used against you in order to establish that you were, in fact, drinking and driving. This is all up to the discretion of the police officer, as it is his or her duty to collect evidence that you had been driving the vehicle. Additionally, the officer must have probable cause before stopping or detaining you, in which case he or she must have reasonable suspicion that you are engaging in illegal behavior.

Some examples of this evidence include, but are not limited to:

  • Warm tires
  • Warm engine
  • The car pulled over on a shoulder, or in the middle of a roadway
  • A damaged vehicle, indicating you were just in an accident
  • Gear is set in drive
  • You are alone in the vehicle, with no explanation as to where the driver is
  • Keys are in the ignition

However, if you are found in this situation, all hope is not lost. With the help of a strongminded and aggressive Orange County criminal defense lawyer, there are several defenses that may be able to prove your innocence throughout this ordeal. These defenses include a lack of probable cause to detain you, or the fact that you started drinking after you had stopped driving, as well as the presence of someone else who could have possibly been the driver.

Contact Our Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with a parked car DUI, time is of the essence. There is no time like the present to do yourself a favor and enlist in the help of a trusted Orange County criminal defense attorney. With The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman on your side, you can rest assured you are in the hands of a capable, experienced, and skilled legal advocate. Don't face this difficult time on your own.

Contact us at your earliest convenience by calling (714) 266-3945.

The post Is it Legal to Drink in a Parked Car? appeared first on The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman.

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