Proving Driving in a Los Angeles DUI Case

If you have been arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence, you have not yet been convicted. An arrest simply means that officers believe there is a reasonable doubt that you were driving under the influence. In order to be convicted, prosecutors have to then prove in Court, that you were 1) driving and 2) intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt. Both of these elements need to be proven, not just one or the other. Both elements include a level of subjectivity. This gray area allows Los Angeles DUI Lawyers, such as our firm, to cast doubt on the prosecutor’s case, and leads to cases being dismissed or charges being reduced.

Let’s take a look at the element of driving in detail.

For you to be convicted of you a Los Angeles DUI, you must be driving at the time you were intoxicated. If you were not driving, then you cannot be convicted of a DUI. Oftentimes, driving is the easier element of the two to prove, as a person is driving and is pulled over by officers. However, in many cases, it is not so cut and dry. Let’s consider some examples.

David is at a bar with his friends. He leaves the bar and walks to his car which is in the parking lot. He realizes that he has had more to drink than he thought, and is intoxicated. He thinks that it is not a good idea to drive at this time. He puts his keys in his pocket, and falls asleep in the back seat. He is then awoken by officers tapping on his window, and is arrested for a DUI.

It is likely that prosecutor’s will have a hard time proving driving in David’s case. David was not actually driving when officers spoke to him, he was asleep in the back seat. He was in a parking lot that implied that his car was parked, he did not have to have driving there while intoxicated. He will have witnesses, and receipts that demonstrate that he was in the bar that he parked at, and what time he left. The keys were not in the ignition. This will take preparation on the part of David’s attorney, but is sufficient to demonstrate that he made a good decision and opted not to drive.

In contrast, consider Diane. Diane leaves a party with her friends, gets in her car and starts to drive home. To get to Diane’s home, you have to drive down a highway that is two lanes, and surrounded by woods and no commercial or residential establishments for miles. About a mile down this road, Diane decides she is too drunk to drive and pulls over. Like David, she takes the keys out of the ignition, and goes to sleep in the back seat. She is awoken by officers tapping on her window and arrested for a DUI.

Diane will have a harder time proving that she had not been driving while intoxicated. Her car is in the middle of nowhere, implying that she drove there and then stopped driving. She will have no witnesses to testify that she was not driving. Diane’s attorney will have a harder time establishing her case.

If you find yourself facing DUI charges, do not risk your future. Contact our office today for a free consultation!