It is not a well-kept secret that the state of Florida is tough on Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases. DUI charges are filed when the driver has an unlawful alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher.
DUI arrests and prosecutions are not only common in Florida, what constitutes a DUI is broad under the Florida Statute. For example, a driver operating a bicycle or boat can be charged with DUI just as a driver of a car can be charged. Moreover, it is possible for a person can be charged with DUI when not actually driving!
DUI Charges When Not Actually Driving In Florida
Under the Florida Statute regarding DUI and penalties, a person is guilty of DUI and subject to punishment if the person is driving "or in actual physical control of the vehicle[.]" §316.193 (2), Fla. Stat. (2016).
So, in Florida if the person has the capability to operate the vehicle, then they are capable of being charged with DUI. But what does actual physical control of a vehicle mean?
For example, a person driving home after an evening of drinking who pulls off the road and into a parking lot to sleep may be charged with a DUI. Or, consider if the person walked out of the bar, sat in the driver's seat of their car, and turned on the ignition to run the heater to warm up. Even though the driver has not operated the vehicle, and may not even intend to drive anywhere, they may be charged with a DUI.
The location of the key can be an important factor in whether or not a person is charged with a DUI. By putting the key out of reach, say in a the glove box instead of putting the key in the ignition or in your pocket, you may be able to prove that you were not in physical control of the vehicle.
To learn about DUI penalties in Florida, read our article here. Click here for the full text of the Florida DUI Statute and penalties.
Given the nuances of Florida's DUI law, we encourage you seek the council of an experienced DUI defense attorney. The attorneys at Draper Law Office are experienced in DUI defense. We invite you to learn more about us here.
Contact us for a free consultation regarding DUI charges or any criminal law matter.
Draper Law Office proudly serves clients throughout Central Florida, including Kissimmee, St. Cloud, and Orlando, and Osceola County and Orange County, FL.