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Submerged Truck Leads to DUI Arrest

People typically understand that they can be charged with DUI crimes if they are caught driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. What may be surprising to some people, though, is that they can be charged with a DUI offense even absent direct evidence of their operation of a vehicle while intoxicated. For instance, in the case of a man arrested after his truck was found submerged in a lake, authorities relied on circumstantial evidence such as proximity to the vehicle, the vehicle’s condition, and the individual’s behavior to establish his involvement. Similarly, under Illinois law, DUI charges can be substantiated through observations and situational factors indicating control and intent to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the State charged you with a DUI crime, it is advisable to speak to an Illinois DUI defense lawyer at your earliest convenience.

Underwater Truck DUI Arrest

It is reported that a man in California’s Bay Area was arrested on suspicion of DUI after police found his truck submerged in a lake. The incident unfolded around 10:40 p.m. on the Fourth of July when the the California Highway Patrol responded to reports of an unknown vehicle in the lake, which reaches depths of 145 feet. Upon arrival, officers discovered the man’s truck underwater with its headlights shining out of the water. The man had left his boat on the lake earlier that evening and attempted to drive his truck down to the dock to load it onto a trailer. During this process, both the truck and trailer were pulled into the lake and quickly submerged.

Allegedly, during their conversation with the man, officers observed signs of alcohol consumption and conducted a DUI investigation. They determined the man was intoxicated and arrested him before taking him to the hospital for a medical evaluation. Following the evaluation, he was booked on charges of driving and operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

DUI Charges Under Illinois Law Based on Operation of a Vehicle

Under Illinois law, DUI charges can be brought against an individual based on the operation or control of a vehicle, even if police do not have direct evidence of driving. Specifically, the law permits the use of circumstantial evidence to establish that an individual was operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

This evidence can include observations and situational factors. For example, proximity to the vehicle, such as being found near or in the driver’s seat, can suggest control, while statements made by the individual indicating they had been driving or intended to drive can be used as admissions.

Additionally, the vehicle’s condition, like a warm engine, lights being on, or keys in the ignition, suggests recent operation, and physical evidence, such as personal belongings inside the car or recent tire tracks, can indicate recent driving activity. Finally, the individual’s behavior, like attempting to leave the scene or move the vehicle, can demonstrate control and intent to operate the vehicle.

Engage with a Proficient Illinois DUI Defense Attorney

People convicted of DUI offenses may face harsh penalties, even if there is no direct evidence that they operated a vehicle while intoxicated.  If you are charged with a DUI, it is advisable to engage with an attorney to explore your potential defenses. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer who can help you take the appropriate measures to protect your interests. You can contact Mr. Harvatin to set up a consultation by calling 217.525.0520 or using the online form.

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