Some states have laws that allow drivers who believe they are in an unsafe condition to drive, presumably because of alcohol consumption, to pull off the side of the road until sober up. Arizona, unfortunately, is not one of these states.
To convict someone for driving under the influence, the state must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired to the slightest degree and with a blood alcohol concentration over .08. Note, to be convicted, the defendant can be driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle.
Pursuant to Arizona case law ” The defendant is in actual physical control of the vehicle if, based on the totality of the circumstances shown by the evidence, his potential use of the vehicle presented a real danger to himself or others….” To determine if someone is an actual physical control, the jury must consider the following for a DUI charge:
- whether the vehicle was running or the ignition was on
- where the key was located
- where and in what position the driver was found in the vehicle
- whether the person was awake
- whether the lights were on
- where the vehicle was stopped
- time of day and weather conditions
- if the heater or a/c was on
- whether the windows were up or down
As you can see, determining whether someone was in actual physical control gets a little murky. Depending on the facts, an experienced Chandler DUI lawyer will be able to fight your DUI charge based on actual physical control arguments and hopefully get your case dismissed.