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Can police arrest you for DUI if you are not driving a car?

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2020 | Drunk Driving Defense

Most everyone understands that police can arrest you if they catch you driving your car after you have had too much alcohol to drink. They may notice you swerving over the line or driving erratically in other ways, or they may stop you for another reason and recognize the signs of alcohol consumption in your eyes and on your breath.

However, what happens if you get into your car and realize it would not be safe to drive home? Perhaps you are already on the road when you decide it was a bad idea to try to drive. You may think the smart thing to do is to pull over and take a nap until the alcohol leaves your system. Unfortunately, sleeping in your vehicle while your blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit is only one unusual way you may risk a drunk driving arrest.

DUI has a wide scope

New Hampshire’s drunk driving laws continue to tighten, and the penalties for even a first offense can be severe. You may risk hundreds in fines, months without your license, mandatory drunk driving education and other penalties for a conviction. However, these consequences are not limited to a .08 BAC in a moving vehicle. Some other circumstances that may lead to your arrest include the following:

  • Police in many states will arrest you for “sleeping it off” in your vehicle, even if you move to the passenger side or the back seat, since your vehicle is still technically under your physical control.
  • New Hampshire is among numerous states whose laws specifically forbid riding a bicycle while impaired by alcohol.
  • Operating a tractor or farm equipment may result in a DUI, especially if you are involved in an accident.
  • You may be operating that farm equipment or any other vehicle on private property, but that does not limit law enforcement from arresting you for drunk driving.
  • If your BAC is over the legal limit, you risk a DUI arrest for operating a boat or any watercraft, potentially including jet skis or even a canoe.
  • Driving with an open container of alcohol is illegal in almost every state.

In many of these situations, police must make a judgment call, and this means you have strong reason for challenging the charges. A skilled attorney will evaluate every factor in your case and create a solid defense strategy to fight any questionable evidence against you.

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