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Had too much to drink and wish to sleep it off in your car for the night?

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  • Had too much to drink and wish to sleep it off in your car for the night?

    Now you can do so with peace of mind as long as you don't stick the key in the ignition. I'm not so sure this is a good idea, but maybe it might work who knows.

    Court kicks DWI case, sets new standard
    Driver must show intent to drive

    Updated: Tuesday, 08 Jun 2010, 5:46 PM MDT
    Published : Tuesday, 08 Jun 2010, 5:45 PM MDT

    SANTA FE (KRQE) - The state Supreme Court has overturned the drunken driving conviction of a motorist found passed out in his vehicle with the keys on the passenger seat.

    The court on Tuesday said prosecutors had failed to prove that Mark Sims was in "actual physical control" of the vehicle when he was arrested by Albuquerque police in 2004. His vehicle was in a commercial parking lot.

    The court used the case to outline a new standard of evidence that police and prosecutors need to show that a motorist intended to drive while intoxicated and posed a danger to themselves or the public.

    The justices said courts can't speculate that a passed out motorist might awake and then drive.


    http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/c...s-new-standard
    Life is what you make of it

  • #2
    Nothing that new really. Washington has a similar statute for this called the safely off the roadway exception. It encourages drivers to sleep it off instead of driving home, but they must be safely and completly off the roadway when doing so and not have any intent to put the vehicle back into motion.

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    • #3
      Yeah, I think that's pretty standard. You can be drunk in a car, just not drunk and in control of a car. You could still be arrested for public intox, though, so a cab or a DD is still the better bet.
      I miss you, Dave.
      http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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      • #4
        Yep, standard in Colorado.
        MAC

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        • #5
          + 1 to the Public intox. Several guys at work have made that arrest. IMO (granted, that of a non-sworn employee) is that it is rather easy to articulate that the person posed a danger to themselves by being passed out in a public place, even if you are in your car.
          Sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mac266 View Post
            Yep, standard in Colorado.
            Sure is, although, I have yet to come into this situation where the keys were not in the ignition.

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            • #7
              In my town, it is illegal to sleep inside a vehicle overnight. Soooooo, if you find someone sleeping in a vehicle, they either go home in a Taxi/with a friend or go to jail. But definitely no DUI if the keys are on the passenger seat...

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              • #8
                Wow that's even odd he charged him. (of course I wasn't there) About 12 years ago I went out with plans to drink a few and the few turned into a lot. I put my keys in the glove box and reclined the passenger seat and crashed. Around 6 am a local officer tapped on the window (now I have been passed out for a good 6+ hours) and asked me what I was doing. I said I drank way too much to drive home last night. He laughed and actully thanked me for making a smart decision.

                I had no issues nor did I think that would have been an issue.
                MDRDEP:

                There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

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                • #9
                  + 1 to the Public intox. Several guys at work have made that arrest. IMO (granted, that of a non-sworn employee) is that it is rather easy to articulate that the person posed a danger to themselves by being passed out in a public place, even if you are in your car.
                  I disagree that one should be arrested. If someone is not causing any issues and decides to sleep of the alchol without making the stupid decision to drive then a little slack should be cut. There are enough drunks in a bar driving, causing issues when leaving the bar etc. If you have someone who for whatever reason decides to lay low I can't see how they are a public disturbance. I under stand the law is the law but to arrest them? even if there were no prior issues?

                  I would hope I would have the option to call a cab. In 38 years of life I never knew it was against the law to sleep in your car.

                  I don't agree but thats my opinion.
                  MDRDEP:

                  There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    AZ talks about "actual physical control" of a vehicle. Generally, if keys are in the ignition and you're in the driver's seat passed out, you're still in physical control.

                    I too think it's a crock to hook people solely for sleeping in their cars, but that's me. Glad we don't have that law here.
                    NRA Life Member

                    The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. - Sir Robert Peel

                    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. - H. L. Mencken

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                    • #11
                      Standard practice not to arrest here as well. I'd rather have a person know they are drunk and sleep it off in their car than try to drive home.

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                      • #12
                        I've seen many people sleep it off. Also seen them crank it up too... sleeping in a car during 40 or 90 degree weather sucks. And lowering your window can sometimes lead to people shooting whip cream through the opening while you're passed out. I've seen discretion used by officers and I've seen them be complete ****** bags about it.

                        The public intox charge for being drunk usually leads to BS arrests. I was driving an ex girlfriend and some of her friends home years ago... i got pulled over for speeding... he made it a point to inform all of the ladies they could be arrested for public intox...

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                        • #13
                          DUI conviction would fly all day long in TN with this scenario. Just because the keys are not in the ignition does not mean the driver doesn't have physical control over the vehicle. We arrested a lady down on the baggage claim level of the airport while her car was parked in the garage. She admitted to driving, had keys in her pocket, and the parking stub from where she entered the garage. Some states have lesser standards when it comes to physical control (like TN). When you're dealing with DUIs and the amount of deaths that alcohol related crashes are responsible for, that's the way it should be. This is not to say that we shouldn't exercise some discretion for those truly not trying to drink and drive, but to me it will depend where they decide to park. Is it in the lot of the place where they drank, or is it after they drove a few miles and too tired to drive anymore? Some other factors at play before I decide what to do.
                          I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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                          • #14
                            When I was in High School, way back in 1980(In a small town in NW Ohio).................an LEO of some kind came to speak to us in an assembly of the whole school, I do not recall who he was really.

                            But he told us if we had a few beers, or were just extremely tired to sleep in the car rather than drive impaired. He said "We might check on you to make sure you are ok, but we will not arrest you".

                            He also as I recalled told us he had never unbuckled the seatbelt from a dead person, seatbelt wearing was not common back then, and most cars were bigger and more robust.
                            Just pay your dues, and be quiet :-)

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                            • #15
                              DUI conviction would fly all day long in TN with this scenario. Just because the keys are not in the ignition does not mean the driver doesn't have physical control over the vehicle
                              Really how does the driver have control? I don't mean that sarcasticly I am just asking. The scenario you pointed out I can understand, she drove drunk to the airport. But the scenario described by most is a concious effort not to drive while intoxicated. This thinking is why you guys lost your website LMAO jk
                              MDRDEP:

                              There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

                              Comment

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