A recent case in New Jersey brings to light a common misconception among the public. Many people think that if you are simply sitting in your car, and it is parked, that you are not "operating" a motor vehicle and therefore cannot be charged with DUI. This is not the case. A major factor is being on a public road. Another major factor is probable cause.
The background of the case is that a man parked his car at an intersection and fell asleep at the wheel. A woman who lived near the intersection saw the man asleep at the wheel and called 911 concerned that he may be in some sort of medical trouble. When the police arrived on the scene, they found that he was intoxicated. He was arrested, charged with, and convicted of DUI.
An appeal of his conviction was made, on the grounds that the "traffic stop" made to question him was illegal in that it wasn't technically a stop. The man was already stopped and at rest in his car. Therefore he could not be "operating" the vehicle.
The conviction was upheld as there was probable cause since a member of the community called in the matter. Also, the man was on a public thoroughfare and parked illegally, to begin with. If you have been arrested for or charged with DUI, you need a lawyer who understands the law and the experience to defend your rights. If you live in Burlington, Essex, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne, or anywhere in the state of Vermont, and have been arrested or charged with DUI or any crime, call Handy Law for aggressive and experienced legal defense.