Verify: Can You Be Arrested for DUI Even When You're Not Driving?

University of Alabama football player Da’Shawn Hand was arrested and charged with driving under the influence Saturday — except he wasn’t driving.

Hand was asleep in his parked car when officers arrested him, Tuscaloosa News reports.

According to Alabama state law, subjects can be deemed to be in a “constructive possession” or “actual physical control” of their vehicle under certain circumstances — for instance, if the keys were left in the ignition.

According to California Highway Patrol spokesperson Jaime Coffee, California also has a law which allows officers to make an arrest of a subject suspected of driving under the influence, even if they’re no longer driving.

California Vehicle Code Section 40300.5 states that “a peace officer may, without a warrant, arrest a person when the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person had been driving while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug.”

“There are many variables that come into play when officers utilize this section,” Coffee said.

Keys being in the ignition or a running but parked car are both factors officers consider during a DUI stop, according to Coffee.

Other variables include whether the subject was involved in a traffic collision, if they subject is in a car blocking a roadway, if the person will not be apprehended unless immediately arrested, and whether the subject would destroy or conceal evidence unless immediately arrested, among others.

Verify sources:
Jaime Coffee, California Highway Patrol Information Officer

Verify resources:
California Vehicle Code
Alabama law

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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