Broward DUI Lawyer on Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle
Driving under the influence, as the name implies, usually actually involves driving. But Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore says that literal driving is not a requirement for the state to prove the a DUI charge. The Florida law that governs drunk driving, Fl. Stat. Section 316.193, requires only that the driver be in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. Most states have a similar or identical standard, which has tended to be construed rather broadly.
Surprisingly, Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore says that actual physical control may include just simply sitting in the driver’s seat in some instances. The car does not necessarily even need to be turned on. If the keys are in the ignition or even within reach, such as within the pocket of the person sitting in the driver’s seat, as well as other circumstances, law enforcement agents and the courts may consider the defendant to have been in actual physical control of the vehicle.
A driver — or “driver,” as the case may be — also does not need to necessarily be out on the road in order to be charged with DUI. Sitting in a car in a driveway, on private property, can still potentially subject the individual to a charge of driver under the influence so long as the law enforcement officer had a reason to investigate the situation. For example, if police were called to the home to sort out allegations of a domestic altercation, the situation could arise where one partner goes to the car to cool off. The police might also initiate an investigation if they see suspicious activity that warrants their attention, says Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer, such as a person passed out in a car who may need medical attention.