– from Kenneth F. in Wayne, WI
Our friends were out for a bachelor party. When we decided to call it a night, our buddy who had barely anything to drink volunteered to drive us home since myself and a couple other guys were drunk. When he got on the freeway, the car ran out of gas and we had to pull over to get out of the way from traffic. The friend that was driving started walking to the nearest exit so he could buy some gas to get us out of the mess. He was taking a long time and I was uncomfortable in the backseat. I went to the driver’s side of the front seat so that I could recline my chair back and sleep until our friend came back. I woke up to an officer tapping on the window to wake us up. I had to put the keys in the ignition to roll down the window. After several tests, I was cited for a DUI. I thought I was being responsible by not driving and was only in the front seat to get some rest. What should I do now?
Criminal Defense Attorney Response:
First of all, I commend you for doing the responsible thing and not getting behind the wheel to drive yourself home. You’re in a tough position because the officer who showed up at the scene saw you passed out behind the wheel and from his standpoint, you appear to be the driver. In general, the smartest thing to do is to never sleep in a car when you are drunk. That’s the best way to avoid getting stuck in one of these situations. But I understand your logic and you may have a case.
Contact a criminal defense attorney and explain to them all of the facts that happened. It’s possible that with the cooperation of the other driver the facts can be sorted out and you may have a case to get out of your DUI. It also depends on the notes made by the officer in the arresting report. Either way, this isn’t a case you would want to handle on your own. Find a defense attorney with experience to help you out of this situation. “
Jeff Hughes, J.D.