Recently a 25-year-old man was arrested for drunk driving when police approached a vehicle in a Sunoco parking lot. The man, who was sitting in his 2014 Chevrolet Cruze, had his head lying on his arm inside the vehicle. The man was arrested for DUI, although news reports do not reveal any information regarding whether a breath test or field sobriety tests were administered.
When asked by police why he was intoxicated, the man said that he was upset over the loss of a Michigan football game and had drank too much. Apparently the young man is a diehard football fan; still, the loss of a game is no excuse to get behind the wheel of a vehicle when in an intoxicated state.
This story highlights two important issues. First, you do not have to be physically driving a vehicle on the roadways to be arrested for drunk driving in Michigan. As long as you are in control of your vehicle, you may be arrested and charged with DUI. For instance, if you are sitting in the driver’s seat while pulled over in a parking lot or on the side of the road with the keys in the ignition (the engine does not have to be running), you may still be accused of drunk driving.
It seems that the young man in this situation was happy to talk to police, another mistake commonly made by individuals who are suspected of drunk driving. Anyone who is arrested should not answer police questions or freely give information without the presence of his or her DUI defense lawyer. Under the U.S. Constitution, those arrested for any criminal offense have a right not to incriminate themselves by answering questions. Politely give information such as your name and address to police, then say nothing else without first speaking to an attorney.
A DUI conviction can result in serious criminal penalties, even for first-time offenders. Jail time, steep fines, and driver’s license suspension are just a few of the penalties you may face. Having a criminal record can also impact various aspects of your life, and make finding employment difficult.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, consult with a dedicated and aggressive Michigan DUI defense attorney right away.