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Can I “Sleep It Off” in My Car to Avoid a Colorado DUI?

Sleep it off in car

It’s the last call for alcohol, which means it’s time to head home for the night. Unfortunately, you’re too drunk to drive and you don’t want to risk getting your car towed if you request a lift home.

In this situation, many people believe “sleeping it off” in their car is a good idea. After a brief snooze, they will be sober enough to drive.

Unfortunately, you could still be charged with a DUI in Colorado if you decide to sleep in your vehicle. For someone to be considered driving, he/she must have “actual physical control” of the vehicle. This means if you were capable of operating the vehicle based on the circumstances of your case, you could be arrested for drunk driving.

Common factors of actual physical control include:

  • You were in the driver’s seat
  • The keys were in the ignition
  • The engine is running
  • Your tires are warm
  • You are parked on the side of the road or highway

If any of these circumstances mentioned above apply to your case, a jury could determine that you had the ability to drive or had driven the vehicle prior to pulling over the side of the road. Furthermore, you could also be charged with a DUI if you parked on private property.

At The Orr Law Firm, we recommend that you avoid this situation by getting picked up by a designated driver or request a ride from Uber or Lyft. However, if you happen to find yourself in this scenario, you need to make it difficult for law enforcement, the prosecution, and the jury to determine you had actual physical control.

Instead of sleeping in the driver’s seat, rest in the backseat. Place your keys as far away from the ignition, such as in the glove compartment or even inside the trunk. Do not drive the vehicle whatsoever, because the police can notice tire tracks to prove the vehicle moved prior to your snooze.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Denver, contact The Orr Law Firm and schedule a free consultation today.