Las Vegas Criminal Law Blog

Can I Be Charged With A DUI If No One Sees Me Driving?

As reputable DUI lawyers in Las Vegas, The Law Offices of Benjamin Nadig understands that there are a plethora of circumstances that may result in a drunk driving charge. In Nevada, an officer can arrest an individual with a DUI without witnessing them driving a vehicle after drinking. This practice is due to the state’s drunk driving laws that strive to protect the public from injuries and property damage. Nevada laws state that “being in actual physical control of a vehicle” while drunk can be a criminal offense. This charge would expose you to harsh penalties, and those in possession of a motor vehicle in Las Vegas need to understand what the law says about “driving” under the influence.

“How Much Have You Had to Drink Tonight? Is This Your Vehicle?”

You probably have an idea of what a standard DUI in Las Vegas looks like. A driver swerves on the road or otherwise demonstrates behavior on the road that suggests the driver is not in the proper state to drive, and a police officer pulls them over. After observing the driver slur their words or show other signs of intoxication, the officer asks them to perform a field sobriety test. If and when they fail, the officer makes an arrest. 

What you may be unaware of is that the state’s DUI laws allow the arrest of an individual who appears to be under the influence and has control of a vehicle, even if the individual was never observed driving. Any indication that someone has driven while drunk or attempted to do so can receive the charge.

How Can You Be “In Control” of a Vehicle If You’re Just Sleeping In It?

While there are a variety of factors that determine control of a vehicle, one constant stays true: you are in control of the car whenever the keys are in the ignition. According to Nevada DUI law, it doesn’t matter if the engine isn’t running or if you’re asleep in the backseat and parked on the side of the road.

There are additional circumstances that increase the chances of the police arresting a sleeping person for DUI. These include:

  • The car lights are on.
  • The vehicle is parked on or near a public road.
  • The individual is found sleeping in the driver’s seat.

You may be arrested if you admit or even somehow imply that you drove while under the influence of alcohol. For example, if your car is parked at a suspicious angle or if there are skid marks that indicate you stopped abruptly, the police may have probable cause to suspect you drove drunk to that spot.

While we advise you to never drive while under the influence, we believe that everyone is entitled to proper legal representation. If you are accused of driving drunk and require a trusted DUI lawyer in Clark County, reach out to The Law Offices of Benjamin Nadig today.