11Nov 2016

I Was Asleep in the Back Seat. No DUI, Right?

Many people believe that if they have had one too many and decide to drive anyway, that falling asleep in the back seat is a sure way to avoid a DUI. After all, you aren't technically operating the vehicle right? You are asleep in the back seat! To the surprise of many, this is often not the case. Specifically the decision whether or not to prosecute someone for DUI revolves around whether there are any additional circumstances to a DUI, such as an accident. A case recently, in Pennsylvania, had the additional element of an accident. A woman crashed her Hyundai into a tree, then fell asleep in the back seat, which is where she was when emergency personnel responded. Originally the judge, at the request of the defense, threw the charges out since she was not behind the wheel. The prosecution appealed, and since she had bruises consistent with colliding with a steering wheel, the charges were reinstated and she was found guilty. Remember, never operate a vehicle if you are under the influence of any substance.