A Florida Highway Patrol trooper arrested a 26-year-old man and charged him with DUI and driving while his license was suspended or revoked Thursday after his car was witnessed stopped in a roadway in Ocala, Florida. An Ocala police officer found the vehicle with the man asleep behind the wheel inside with the keys in the ignition and the car in drive.
According to the Ocala Star Banner, the officer tried to wake the man numerous times. The trooper was called to the scene where alcohol was supposedly detected on the man’s breath.
The man allegedly failed a field sobriety test and was transported to the Marion County Jail. Two blood alcohol tests were performed at the jail that resulted in .133 and .134.
The man allegedly told the trooper he had been drinking, had two prior DUI’s in Iowa and still drives frequently even though his license is suspended.
To prove DUI in Florida, the state must prove that you were in actual physical control of your vehicle. The state can argue an individual was in actual physical control despite not driving the vehicle. If you are found asleep in a parked car, that alone can be a basis for a DUI prosecution. Actual physical control of a vehicle can just mean sitting behind the driver’s seat in some situations. The car doesn’t even have to be on to charge a person with DUI. If the keys are in the ignition or simply within reach of the person in the driver’s seat, law enforcement agents may consider the person to be in physical control of the vehicle and pursue a DUI arrest.
The State will usually argue that a driver need not be in a roadway to be charged with DUI. As long as the officer has a reasonable suspicion to investigate a situation, a DUI charge could occur from sitting in a car that is parked in the driveway of private property. Prosecutors will argue that the driveway has a connection to Florida roads.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI in Florida, contact the Florida DUI Lawyers at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call 352-666-2121or 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).