Sleeping in Your Car While Drunk in Pennsylvania | What You Must Know

After over two years in lockdown, businesses, restaurants and bars are reopening. Even better, we’re on the verge of spring. That means you can go out for a night of fun while still being safe. If you become drunk during your night out, you might take the seemingly responsible step of sleeping in your car. But is that a crime? If you do not know the finer points of Pennsylvania DUI and DWI laws, please read on, then contact an experienced Allegheny County DUI lawyer to learn what you must know about sleeping in your car while drunk in Pennsylvania.

Is sleeping in your car while drunk a crime in Pennsylvania?

Though it may seem like the smart choice to simply “sleep it off” in your vehicle if you’re unable to drive, you may still be charged with a DUI in the state of Pennsylvania.

When can you sleep in a running car while drunk in Pennsylvania?

You should never sleep in a vehicle while intoxicated. That said, if you have no choice but to do so, you should do everything in your power to prove to law enforcement (if you’re approached) that you are not in physical control of the vehicle. This can include taking certain precautions, such as ensuring your car is completely off and that your keys are in your glove compartment or trunk. You should also sleep in the back seat of your vehicle and not the front. Additionally, if you can, text someone before falling asleep informing them of your plan to sleep in your vehicle until sober so you have proof that was your intention.

Even if you do everything mentioned above, you can still get a DUI, which is why it’s always best to simply leave your vehicle parked and take an Uber or taxi home. You can get your vehicle in the morning once you’ve sobered up.

What constitutes evidence of intent to drive while drunk?

Establishing your state of mind is crucial in determining your guilt or innocence in a DUI case. Staggering out of a bar with your car keys in your hand, approaching the driver’s side of your car and getting behind the wheel is never a good look. Police can arrest you. In their eyes, you had clear and obvious intent of operating a motor vehicle. Nevertheless, these cases, yours included, are never so simple. Let a skilled Pittsburgh DUI attorney speak for you.

Contact Our Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer

The Law Office of George Heym focuses exclusively on DUI defense. George Heym is a former Allegheny County DUI prosecutor with an understanding of both sides of a DUI case, notable litigation experience, and relationships with local courts. Contact our firm to fight for your rights.

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