Drunk driving accidents have been a problem in this country for quite a long time. Consequently, many states, like New York, enforce strict DUI laws to hopefully prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel when under the influence of alcohol. In New York, a police officer can charge an intoxicated person with a DUI even if they weren’t actively driving when the police officer found them in their vehicle. Some New Yorkers wonder if they get a DUI charge if their keys aren’t in the ignition. To find out, read this blog or reach out to a Nassau County DUI Lawyer today!
CAN I GET A DUI IN NEW YORK IF MY KEYS AREN’T IN THE IGNITION?
Yes, you could get a DUI, even if the police officer doesn’t find you actively driving at the time that they find you intoxicated. This is because a DUI is defined in New York as operating a vehicle when one’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at least 0.08%. Operating doesn’t necessarily mean driving, and an officer may still charge you with a DUI if they suspect you had the intention to drive while still intoxicated.
WHAT PENALTIES CAN I FACE FOR A DUI?
First-time DUI offenders will automatically be fined and face a license suspension of at least six months. Once your license is reinstated, you might be required to drive with an ignition interlock device (IID). You’ll also need to participate in the Drunk Driving Program (DDP). If you’re a first-time offender, you can even get a prison sentence of up to a year. Those who have committed multiple DUI offenses will face much more severe penalties.
CAN I FIGHT MY DUI CHARGE?
Though it can be both frightening and frustrating to get charged with a DUI in this scenario, the good news is you may have a higher chance of reducing or even dismissing your charge. If your key was not in the ignition, your lawyer may help you prove that you had no intention of drunk driving. If you need to sit in your car while intoxicated, your best bet is to sit in the back seat with the car off and the keys hidden. This will make it much easier to prove that you had no intention of driving while still intoxicated. After obtaining a DUI charge, immediately contact a DUI lawyer who can help you fight your charges.
Have you recently been charged with a DUI? Are you looking for an experienced criminal defense attorney who has your best interests in mind? Look no further because the Law Office of Jacob A. Rudman is here to fight for you! Contact our effective team today for an initial consultation.