Actual Physical Control In Georgia DUI Cases

Late last month, the news reveals that a woman in a suburb of Atlanta was arrested when the police found her passed out in a truck while breastfeeding a three-year-old child. The woman was subsequently charged with a DUI and child endangerment.

This situation is just one example in which an individual was charged with driving under the influence even though the individual was not a driving a motor vehicle, nor was she in actual physical control of the vehicle. 

Examples In Which Individuals Have Been Charged With DUIs 

There are several unique situations in which individuals can be charged with a DUI even though the individual was not in the process of driving a motor vehicle. These situations include the following:

  • Left Alone With Keys. Even if an individual’s friend is driving the individual home, if the individual is left alone in the vehicle with the keys temporarily then the individual can end up facing a DUI charge.
  • Listening To Music. Drivers who are not driving a motor vehicle but merely listening to music on the car’s radio can face DUI charges.
  • Pushing A Car. DUI charges can be made against an individual who pushes a car.
  • Reported Drivers. Drivers who drive while intoxicated can be reported by other drivers and face a DUI charge even after the driver has arrived at the destination.
  • Sleeping. Individuals who are discovered by law enforcement to be sleeping in motor vehicles can be charged with a DUI offense. As a result of this type of scenario, law enforcement was able to arrest the sleeping woman in the above-cited example and charge her with a DUI.
  • Switching Drivers. Motor vehicle drivers who are found by law enforcement to switch places with sober passengers can be charged with a DUI offense. 

The best advice is that individuals who have been drinking should avoid using cars in any manner because there are many situations in which a DUI charge can be made.

Georgia DUI Law 

In order to be guilty of driving under the influence in the state of Georgia, law enforcement must demonstrate that a party: (a) drove or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and (b) with an alcohol concentration above .08 grams or so that it was less safe to drive.

The term actual physical control is interpreted by law enforcement to include a variety of situations. If a driver was in a vehicle that worked with the keys in the vehicle’s ignition then this situation is often considered enough to fulfill a DUI charge.

Courts in the state of Georgia often look to other factors to demonstrate that an individual was in actual physical control of a vehicle, which includes the following: whether the individual owned the motor vehicle, whether the defendant made incriminating statements, whether the motor vehicle’s engine was running, and whether the individual had keys to the motor vehicle.

Contact a Georgia DUI Attorney

To successfully defend against a DUI charge when an individual was not driving a motor vehicle, it is often essential for an individual to retain the services of experienced legal counsel like one of the skilled DUI lawyers at Yeargan & Kert, LLC to a construct a strong defense.