One of the co-founders of the Boulder, Colorado based company, Crocs, was arrested on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI / DWAI, C.R.S. 42-4-1301). He was approached by police after a witness found him passed out behind the wheel of his car. He was allegedly uncooperative with police, and refused to perform roadside maneuvers (which, incidentally, the law defines as voluntary). He told Boulder law enforcement that he was just taking a nap in his car.
It is likely that you might be thinking to yourself, “Wait a second…this guy wasn’t even DRIVING. How can he arrested for DRIVING under the influence?” That is a very good question, and one of those legal issues that many people aren’t aware of. What does it mean to actually be driving? In Colorado jurisdictions such as Denver, Jefferson, and Adams County, “driving” is a legal term of art, and it loses much of its plain meaning in a court of law. One is deemed to be driving a vehicle if that person has “actual physical control” over the automobile. So, if you decide to wander out to the parking lot after drinking too much at a party, turn on the car to get the heat going, and take a nap while you sober up, the fact that your keys are in the ignition and you have physical control over the car constitutes driving under Colorado law – even on private property.
While you may believe that you are doing the responsible thing by not driving and sobering up in your car, the Aurora, Centennial, or Westminster police may see things completely opposite. While what prosecutors call a “no-drive” DUI may be more difficult for them to prosecute, they certainly won’t stop trying. If you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) in Arapahoe, Douglas, or Weld County, Colorado, you need a criminal defense attorney who knows how to litigate these confusing areas of the law. At the O’Malley Law Office, we have years of experience fighting against DUI / DWAI charges all over Colorado. So, if you are pulled over by the police, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.