I was recently asked, by email, if a person in Missouri could fight a DWI or maybe it was a DUI, if they were parked in their car. To see the difference click here.
Unfortunately, while they could fight the DUI or DWI, I told them I did not see much chance of winning it based on the information provided in their written question.
But it does raise the question of can you get a DUI or DWI in a parked car.
If they were parked with the engine running to stay warm, or even with the car off and the keys within their reach, they fit into what has been defined as control of the vehicle and therefore operating one. (See 577.010 of Missouri Statues, there a link to them on the resources page)
Investigating a parked car has stood up as probable cause to come in contact with you. Once the officer smelled the odor of alcoholic beverage on their breath the officer was entitled to give them field sobriety tests which, based on the fact he took them for a breath test they must not have done so well on. The only breath test that really matters is the one at the station. In Missouri a BAC of .08 or more is presumed intoxicated and therefore can be found guilty of a DWI or guilty of a DUI.
I would recommend getting an attorney who handles DUI and DWI cases as a regular part of his practice to assist you in attempting to get the case plead down as low as possible both in charge and consequence to your life.
To learn my approach to DWI and DUI cases click here
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