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You can be arrested Driving Under the Influence in Illinois even though your car was not moving

You can be charged in Illinois with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) even though the police may not actually observe you driving. This Chicago Sun-Times article describes a man who was charged with DUI despite the fact that at the time of the arrest, his car was pulled over and notwithstanding the fact he was rear-ended.

Blake, perhaps concerned that he was too impaired to be driving, parked his car on the shoulder. Although he failed to pull completely over, the fact remains that his vehicle was struck from behind and he was not driving at the time. However, Illinois DUI law provides that you are considered to be driving under the influence if you are in “actual physical control” of your vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Many DUI arrests begin when authorities find a driver asleep behind the wheel, or asleep in the back seat of the car, or even outside of the car. As long as the state can prove to a jury that the driver either had been driving or was capable of driving before he sobered up, that is enough.

For example, in the Blake case, the state might ask, if Blake was not the driver of the car, how do you explain how he and his car ended up on the shoulder of I-55? Unless a helicopter dropped him and his car in from the sky, it does not seem far-fetched for a jury to conclude he was driving.

In situations in which the driver is asleep, the state’s argument will always be, you could have awakened and driven away. The argument loses some force if the car is inoperable.

Many people arrested for drunk driving who the police did not see actually driving admit to the police that they were driving. Instead of talking to the police, you should exercise your constitutional right to demand a lawyer and refuse to answer any questions.

The issue of whether or not a driver is in “actual physical control” is a touchy legal matter best left to the care of an Illinois DUI lawyer. He can walk you through this legal thicket and help piece together a defense that may avoid a DUI conviction, jail or prison and loss of your driver’s license.

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