Although DUI is an acronym for driving under the influence, it is a bit of a misnomer in Virginia. Driving your vehicle while iunder the influence is not strictly required for you to be arrested for and even convicted of a DUI. Instead, you can be arrested if a law enforcement officer has reason to suspect you operated your vehicle while intoxicated.
“Operation” of a vehicle is a vaguer legal definition than “driving” it. “Operation” of a vehicle in a Virginia DUI case, most easily, is using the vehicle or having the present capability to use the vehicle. Essentially, if you are within the vehicle or near it with the keys in your possession, or admit to having used it recently, it can be argued you have operated it in the eyes of the law. Of course, actually driving a vehicle counts as operating it as well. Intoxication or impairment in conjunction with any form of operation is a recipe for a DUI arrest.
To this end, you can be sleeping in the backseat of your car after having a few drinks and still be arrested for a DUI. In some situations you could be sitting outside of your curbside-parked car and waiting to sober up and still be considered the operator of the vehicle — and therefore arrested for a DUI. A law enforcement officer can make an arrest due to simply being told of a crime occurring, not necessarily witnessing the crime themselves.
Defending Yourself Against DUIs Without Driving
Being arrested and criminally charged for a DUI without a law enforcement officer actually seeing you drive your vehicle while intoxicated creates a tricky set of circumstances. To get control of the situation and understand what you will be up against if your charges go to court, you should work with me, Fredericksburg Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew J. Cornick. I am a former prosecutor who knows how the opposition will try to use evidence in such an uncommon scenario. With my insight and the support of my legal team, you can confidently work towards the best possible case resolution, which may be a case dismissal, charge reduction, or not guilty verdict.
Get my firm on the case today. Call (540) 827-4446 or send me an email now.