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Defining Driving in Alexandria DUI Cases

In the context of DUI cases, driving means any time that your vehicle is in the drive position so it could be driven. When defining driving in Alexandria DUI cases the focus is often on the intention to operate a vehicle while intoxicated.

This information depends on the circumstances of your case, so it is important to talk to a qualified DUI attorney about whether your key was in the ignition, whether the ignition was turned on, and whether your car was running. All of these things will help play into the nuances of DUI case laws. Speak with a skilled lawyer and know you are in capable hands.

DUIs While Not Driving

A person can receive a DUI even if they were not driving. Under Virginia law and in Alexandria, an individual can get a DUI at any point where their vehicle was in the driving position. That has been decided by Virginia courts to mean various things.

For example, if someone’s key is in the ignition, they can be found to be driving under the influence. If they are sleeping in the passenger seat and there is evidence that they had been driving, even though they were not driving at the time the police officers came to them, the person can be convicted of driving under the influence for driving if there is positive evidence.

An individual can be convicted of driving under the influence if the key is in the ignition, they are the only person in the car, and they are not even in the driver’s seat. It is going to depend on the specific facts of their case, but there are a lot of ways that a person can be convicted of a DUI without actually being pulled over by the police officers while they are intoxicated.

DUIs While Parked

Something people do not consider when defining driving in Alexandria DUI cases is that perception is everything. Someone does not have to be driving on a road to be arrested for a DUI. They can be parked in a driveway or parked in a parking lot. A person can even be outside of their vehicle. Depending on the facts of someone’s case, as long as the factors lead the police to have probable cause that a person had been driving under the influence, they can arrest them.

If someone is in a parking lot, in a drive through getting dinner, about to get into their car, or just got into their car and turned the ignition, individuals with these facts get arrested by police all the time. An individual needs to be careful and they need to call an attorney as soon as they can after this type of arrest.

Charging Passengers With DUI Offenses

If it is not clear who was driving, a passenger can get charged with a DUI. Depending on the facts, circumstances, and action of the police, and depending on what the police can determine based on their observation of the situation, as long as they have probable cause to believe that the passenger was the one driving the vehicle, they would be able to arrest and charge the passenger with a DUI.

Locations Police Patrol for DUIs

There are many places in Alexandria that police and law enforcement officers patrol that are known to be drinking establishments. There are certain areas, bars, and restaurants where officers set up patrols, watching for people to come out, get into their vehicle, and drive in a manner that indicates they are intoxicated.

Does the Prosecution Always Have to Prove Driving?

The prosecution always has to prove operation, not necessarily driving which is an important distinction to make when defining driving in Alexandria DUI cases.  How they prove operation varies from case to case, and the matter is extremely complicated in Virginia.

It is often contested and is one of the more contested issues for DUI cases. Depending on the facts of a person’s case, it is possible that they would have a good defense for whether or not they were driving as defined by case law and by a court.

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