IMPORTANT NOTICE
COVID-19 Update! We are still open and We are now offering Virtual Meetings to all our clients.
Please call us at (815) 290-9170(708) 919-5415 for any help.

The MacNeil Firm Ltd. Make a Payment

DUI Lawyer Ford Heights Illinois | Can You Be Charged with a DUI if You’re Sleeping in Your Car?


The topic of whether one can be charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) when sleeping in a car in Illinois raises various legal questions. It is important to understand the specific laws governing DUIs and the implications they have in different situations. Our DUI lawyer Ford Heights Illinois will help you understand your legal options if you’ve been arrested for a DUI. Call (708) 218-0947 or (708) 218-0947 today and a member of our team at The MacNeil Firm will help you pursue your case.

In Illinois, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%, as in many other states across the United States. This limit is applicable while operating a motor vehicle. However, the law is more complex when it comes to the question of whether an individual can be charged with a DUI while sleeping in a car.

The Physical Control Doctrine

The Physical Control Doctrine is a legal principle in Illinois that states an individual can be charged with a DUI even if they are not actively driving a vehicle. The language in the Illinois DUI statute (Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code) says “A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while under the influence of alcohol.” “Actual physical control” is defined as simply having the keys to the car in your possession.

The doctrine suggests that one can still be considered to have “control” over a vehicle if they are in close proximity to it, capable of immediately starting and moving it, and had the intent to do so. It is important to understand that the determination of whether an individual was in “physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence is subjective and based on the circumstances of each case. 

Factors that may be considered include whether the individual had the keys, was in the driver’s seat, or had moved the vehicle in any way prior to falling asleep. When police rely on this information to make an arrest, there is a better chance of getting the charges dismissed in court due to reasonable doubt and a lack of evidence. Our DUI lawyer Ford Heights Illinois can review your case and mount a strong legal defense. Other common defenses include problems with the police report or lack of evidence. They may have said that you intended to drive the vehicle without any proof to support that conclusion. Police have to prove that you were driving while drunk, or intended to drive, and that is not always an easy task for prosecutors.

Consult our DUI Lawyer Ford Heights Illinois for a strong legal defense

Given the complexities surrounding the laws, seeking legal advice from a knowledgeable DUI lawyer Ford Heights Illinois is crucial, especially if you find yourself in the situation of being charged with a DUI while sleeping in a car. The legal team at our firm will provide essential guidance and help protect your rights.

In Illinois, it is possible to be charged with a DUI while sleeping in a car, due to the Physical Control Doctrine. This legal principle provides law enforcement with the ability to subjectively determine if an individual had control over the vehicle, even if they were not actively driving it. Given the subjective nature, a strong legal defense can be made on your behalf. Contact us for a consultation and to ensure your rights are protected. 


Share this Article

Compassionate criminal defense attorneys at The MacNeil Firm Ltd. Illinois provide personalized services to their clients.

Compassionate criminal defense attorneys at The MacNeil Firm Ltd. Illinois provide personalized services to their clients.

Request Free Case Evaluation