The acronym DUI may stand for driving under the influence, but that hasn't stopped police officers from arresting individuals for the crime who were not driving at all. It only takes a string of a few simple mistakes to end up with an unwarranted DUI on your permanent record. Explore how others have been charged with DUIs when they weren't driving to avoid this ridiculous scenario yourself.

Sit In A Car

All the cases in which people were charged with DUIs without driving started in a similar way -- in a car. The individuals were waiting in cars for sober friends who planned to drive them home, or taking a quick nap in the backseat instead of bothering roommates. Even sitting in the back of a pickup truck is too close to the ignition and gas pedal for cops who use the argument that being in or near a car increases the chances of you operating that vehicle while drunk. If you're trying to prevent a DUI accusation, start by staying far away from any type of vehicle.

Fail Your Sobriety Tests

Of course, the cop still has to prove you're intoxicated after making the initial arrest. Field sobriety tests are notably unreliable, but even breath and blood tests can show skewed results due to medication or mishandling at the lab. If you fail your sobriety test, you're likely to get charged with a DUI even if you aren't operating a vehicle during your arrest. Refusing the tests is often the best idea if you're located in a state that doesn't count refusal as an automatic guilty plea.

Lose Important Evidence

You were arrested for sitting in a car you don't own while your friends had the keys. Obviously you couldn't drive away if you wanted to, but can you prove that in court with the right evidence? Other important forms of evidence defendants often fail to gather include

  • Engine temperature measurements to prove the car was not running prior to the officer's arrival on the scene
  • Eye witness testimony stating you were not in the driver's seat or attempting to start the vehicle
  • Mechanic reports showing the vehicle was not operable at all, meaning that a real DUI incident was never possible.

Defend Yourself In Court

Deciding to defend yourself in front of a judge is the final nail in the coffin when dealing with this kind of situation. You definitely need the skills of a DUI attorney to build a case proving that it's unfair to punish someone for a crime they didn't actually commit. If the initial case doesn't go in your favor, a dedicated attorney can bring the case to the appeals court to get it overturned.