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Can you get a DUI in a parked car? Here’s what Nebraska law says

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Criminal Defense, Dui |

Driving under the influence (DUI) of substances is a serious offense. This is either under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Nebraska, it’s so serious that police can lawfully station sobriety or DUI checkpoints to screen drivers for intoxication or impairment. However, it’s not only on the road that police can check for a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC).

Per state law, the legal BAC limit for drivers aged 21 and over is 0.08%. It’s even lower at 0.02% for drivers under 21. If anyone exceeds these limits, they can face arrest for a DUI. This arrest can happen anywhere, including parked cars, if police suspect the driver is under the influence.

Understanding actual physical control

In Nebraska, as in many states, DUI laws are strict and far-reaching. They extend beyond active driving. The law in Nebraska considers a person to be in “actual physical control” of a vehicle if they are in a position to operate it, regardless of whether they are driving at the time. Point being, if someone is found intoxicated in the driver’s seat of a parked vehicle, they can potentially be charged with a DUI.

This is because the person could potentially start the vehicle and drive at any moment, posing a risk to themselves and others. For instance, a person found in a parked car with the keys in the ignition or close at hand, who is drunk or high on substances, could be seen as being in “actual physical control” of the vehicle.

Simply put, Nebraska state considers the potential risk and takes preventive measures. So, even for a person in a parked car, intoxication can lead to a DUI charge.

Avoiding drunk driving altogether

The simplest way to avoid a DUI charge is not to drink and drive. It’s a straightforward solution that ensures safety for all road users. There are many alternatives to getting behind the wheel, such as getting a designated driver, using a ride-sharing service or opting to stay overnight at a friend’s place. Under no circumstances is drunk driving worth the risk. It can put lives in danger and lead to a myriad of legal troubles, such as a DUI charge with potential consequences like fines, license suspension and even jail time.

Those in such situations should consider seeking a legal professional. They can provide guidance on taking the next steps.