Can I be charged with DUI without actually being in the car?

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Can I be charged with DUI without actually being in the car?

I went for a friend’s 21st birthday, came back, and went to bed. Shortly after they called me to pick them up upon picking them up my friend (sober) called and told me he ran off the road. I went to go help him at the time of cops arrival my car was on the side of the road and all my passengers and myself were outside of the vehicle. After sitting around for 30 minutes it was time for us to leave. This is when the cops gave me and another passenger (but not a third) a breathalyzer test. I blew .009 over the limit. I then asked for a field sobriety test and was refused. Got charged with DUI. What are my options. Should I speak with a DUI attorney? In Walker County, GA.

Asked on August 21, 2010 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an attorney. If you were not driving at all that night, then--assuming you can prove it--you should not be liable under DUI laws, since DUI is "DRIVING under the influence." There's no DUI without the "D."

However, if you had driven that night and the police can prove that--and prove that you were under the influence at the time--I suspect you can indeed be charged with DUI notwithstanding that you were not in the car at the time. So, for example, if you admitted or there was proof you had driven to that location within the past short time frame--and it is clear from the test you would have been drunk, etc. at that time--you could indeed probably be charged with DUI. So alot will depend on what exactly can be proven; that is why you should consult with an attorney. Good luck.


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