Hitting a Parked Car and DUI Charges
Hitting a parked car while under the influence is not as serious as causing injury to a person yet can still place you in the position of potentially being arrested for a DUI. The implications on your license and your freedom are similar, so here is crucial information to consider if you find yourself in this position.
Crashing Into a Parked Vehicle Under the Influence
If you are under the influence, and hit a parked car, you can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence. The good news is that the potential for witnesses to the accident are greatly lessened, which makes the prosecution’s job of proving that you were under the influence more difficult. To justify a conviction, the court must determine that you were driving, operating, or in control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, which can be done either by a direct admission from you or other evidence that would show that you were intoxicated when you hit the parked car.
Dealing with the Police
You are required to give the officer common identification information such as your drivers license, insurance, and car registration. However, you are not required to and should not tell the officer that you were drinking. Let them reach this conclusion on their own. The prosecution must prove that you were intoxicated- don’t make this easier on them by admitting it.
Being on Public vs. Private Property
If you are on private property when you hit a parked car, i.e. restaurant or shopping center, certain state laws will prevent you from being able to be charged with driving under the influence, because their wording focuses on individuals driving on public streets, highways, and interstates. Also, implied consent to Breathalyzer tests will sometimes hinge on whether or not you are on private vs. public property.
Your being required to submit to a chemical test to keep your license will depend on whether you are residing in a state with implied consent laws. Usually you actually have to be under arrest before you can lose your drivers license for refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test. It is also important to note that if you hit the parked car while you are on private property, implied consent laws might not apply.
Field Sobriety Tests
An officer must have either probable cause or reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence before requesting that you take a field sobriety tests. Factors that might influence this include:
- Odor of alcohol
- Your demeanor
- Admission of drinking
Help from a DUI Lawyer
The information provided in this article is for general use only, and should not be taken as legal advice. There are severe penalties associated with any Driving Under the Influence charge; an attorney will have knowledge of defenses available to you as well as ensuring that your rights are in no way violated. Make sure to have someone on your side, if you ever find yourself in this situation and seek legal counsel from a licensed attorney.