If You Are Sleeping Off Alcohol in Your Car, Think Twice. The Police Are Allowed to Perform a Welfare Check.

The police can, in most cases, do a welfare check on someone asleep in their car. They want to make sure you’re not injured, hurt, or need assistance. They also want to make sure that you haven’t been drinking and driving. They have the right to initiate a DUI investigation.

What the Police Are Looking For When They Initiate a DUI Investigation

In California there are certain elements that they need to be able to prove, and the first one is driving. They have to be able to prove there was volitional movement, which means the car has to actually move. Just being in possession of the car, with a key in the ignition, with the engine running is not movement, that’s not driving. The car has to move. What happens frequently in these cases is first, the police will do is try and get you to say that you have been driving sometime recently. That’s where people get in trouble. The police will actually touch the hood of your vehicle to determine how warm the engine feels and then make a guestimate of the time you drove and correlate that to your blood alcohol concentration.

You Should Not Admit to Driving When the Police Question You

The best defense to something like this is that you were not driving, that you got in the car. The problem that we often run into is the officers will often claim that you said you were driving or that someone saw you driving, or they’ll say they felt the hood and it was warm.

We have had officers go as far as using heat sensors to show that the hood and the wheel wells were warm. When they don’t see you driving, the case usually starts out much better.

In over 24 years as Santa Rosa DUI Attorneys, we have seen zealous prosecutors try to fill weak facts into a DUI prosecution and conviction. Some prosecutors lose sight of the fact that many cases like these simply involve people trying to be responsible and NOT drive while impaired or are simply just too tired to drive.

CONTACT Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC TODAY

With over 40 years of combined DUI Defense law experience and thousands of DUI cases handled, Santa Rosa DUI Lawyers Michael A. Fiumara and Justin O. Milligan have been using creative defenses to successfully defend people in the Bay area charged with DUI.

Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We are here to fight for you!