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Definition of Driving For a Richmond DUI Charge

Despite what many people think, you do not actually have to be driving down the road in order to be  charged with a DUI in Richmond. In fact, depending on the circumstances, you may be charged even if you are sitting in a parked car with the radio or air conditioning on. Even just sitting in your own driveway or a parking lot could be enough to warrant an arrest in some cases. With these factors in mind, it is important to understand what the legal requirement for driving under the influence actually means and when a vehicle is legally considered to be under an individual’s operation or control. For more on operating a vehicle or to begin building a defense for your case, schedule a consultation with a Richmond DUI lawyer today.

When A Driver Can Be Arrested

A driver can be arrested for a DUI for being on the road, but they can also be arrested for a DUI for being parked in a driveway or being parked in a parking lot. DUIs are often seen in cases where an individual pulls off to the side of the road to park and sleep it off and leaves the keys in the ignition with the heat on just so they can stay warm, and they could receive a DUI as a result.

These sorts of offenses happen often. It is very routine for someone to be parked in a parking lot or parked on the side of the road not driving the car and to receive a DUI as a result of the keys either being in the ignition and the interior lights and radio being on.

DUI Enforcement

The officers in Richmond do not routinely patrol parking lots. However, most parking lots in the commercial areas in Richmond are patrolled by private security companies and if they see someone parking the vehicle or sleeping in the vehicle, they will contact local police.

Challenging The Operation of a Vehicle

The prosecution does not actually have to show driving, but they do have to show an operation of the vehicle. Experienced attorneys will routinely challenge this if they can show their client was not operating the vehicle, that there was no control of the vehicle and the keys were not in the ignition or nothing was on inside the vehicle.

Furthermore, if an officer is unclear as to who is driving a vehicle, they will sometimes attempt to charge both individuals. What they want to try and do is convince the party to come forward and testify against the other and/or to have one party to step forward and admit that they were driving. A DUI attorney will be able to protect the driver and passengers rights if they are facing charges of a DUI in these instances.