After you have had too much to drink, you may find that you are not able to drive safely. To avoid having an accident, your solution might be to pull over somewhere safe where you can sleep until you can recover from your inebriation. However, if a police officer discovers you, there's a risk that you may be charged with a DUI.
When you are asleep, a police officer has the ability to perform a welfare check. They are not only trying to determine if you are injured or sick but are also trying to determine if you have been drinking behind the wheel.
Not Driving Under the Influence
The rules for a DUI can vary from state-to-state. In general, you must have put the car in motion while you were intoxicated. For example, if you exit a bar, enter your car and immediately go to sleep, you would not have committed a DUI. If you decide to keep the car running to stay warm, you will not have committed a DUI. However, if you start driving and realize that you must pull over, you will still have committed a crime by putting the car in motion while intoxicated.
Communicating With the Officer
When being questioned, do not state that you were driving. Any statements you make can be used as evidence that you were committing a crime. If the hood of your car is warm, the officer might feel it and use this as evidence that you were driving under the influence. However, your case is much easier to defend when you have not admitted to driving.
Avoiding the Situation in the First Place
The best way to avoid this situation is to avoid entering your car whenever you have had too much to drink. Instead, rely on a transportation service or ask a friend or family member to drive you. Stopping at a hotel and checking in is a great way to avoid a welfare check, but only if you do not drive yourself to the hotel and instead rely on someone to transport you to the hotel.
When you have been charged with a DUI because you were discovered sleeping behind the wheel, make sure to contact a DUI attorney who can help you fight your case. An attorney may be able to have your charges reduced or dropped and will represent you in court.