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Can I Be Charged with a DUI for Sleeping in My Car While Drunk?

The Dangers of Drinking and Sleeping

After a night at the bar, a person may choose to call a cab, take the bus, or hitch a ride with their designated driver. When these options aren’t available to an individual, they may resort to resting in their car while they sober up. Though this seems like an innocent act, in certain cases, it could be grounds for a DUI arrest.


Prosecutors will look for any evidence that you are attempting to operate your vehicle. You could be arrested for driving-in-fact if there are signs of you preparing to drive, such as having the keys in the ignition, the car in the proper gear, and being buckled in the front seat.

Attempted DUI

Entering your car while drunk could lead an officer to believe that you intend to drive it. If prosecutors suspect that you are trying to travel, you can be charged with an attempted DUI, even if you don’t successfully move your car.

Circumstantial Evidence of DUI

An individual could be found guilty of a DUI offense even if the police did not see the driver behind the wheel or the car moving. If the car’s engine is still warm and there are fresh tire tracks, prosecutors can infer that the owner moved it. If they are currently inebriated, they can be charged with a DUI.

Sleeping Off Alcohol Without Worry

If you can’t afford a cab, the bus lines have stopped running, and your friends are unable to pick you up, resting off the alcohol may be the only option available to you. If you do sleep in your car, consider doing the following:

  • Keep your keys out of the ignition
  • Park in a lot or on a quiet street with no traffic before drinking
  • Sleep in the back seat

If you have been arrested for a DUI, contact our lawyers. We will provide powerful legal defense and fight to protect you from a conviction.