Definition of Driving in Annapolis DUI Cases
Driving under the influence cases are not always straightforward as the term “driving” is not always literal. The complexity involved in Annapolis DUI driving laws can make a case more severe than anticipated or potentially provide a defense. Therefore, when navigating DUI charges, hiring an experienced defense attorney is essential.
Definition of Driving
In the context of Annapolis DUI driving laws, “driving” does not always mean that an officer observes someone actually driving their car. It may mean that someone was at the scene of a car accident. It may seem that they were driving and are off the road. A law enforcement officer might have found the person, performed a wellness check, and established that the person was driving or had admitted to driving. Another situation is when someone is sitting in the driver’s seat, the vehicle is on and they are sitting with their hands on the wheel but they are not going anywhere. Someone in their car on the side of the road or in a parking lot can still get a DUI.
Each situation is very unique. Control plays a large role. There is precedent that can be shown that the person is not driving or is not in control. The actual circumstances of that particular location speak to what may or may not be driving in order for someone to be charged.
Law enforcement officers may patrol parking lots near bars or restaurants looking for DUI drivers. Those are well-known areas that officers always patrol. Law enforcement officers know that when it comes to drinking and driving, the best thing they can do is stop that person before something happens. The longer the person drives; the more risk they are to everyone else on the road. Annapolis DUI driving laws allow law enforcement to seek people who have not even left a parking lot yet.
Proving Operation of a Vehicle
The prosecution must prove that someone was driving when they receive a DUI. Every case involves elements. Every citation has certain elements that must be met. If a citation carries five elements; one of which is to prove the person was driving under the statute; it must be proven. Without one of the elements, the person must be found not guilty because the prosecution did not complete the necessary factual basis and evidentiary basis for that charge.
It is possible that when two people are standing outside the vehicle and the officers cannot figure out who was driving, they charge them both. Without a witness, it can be difficult to get the two people to testify against each other. The two people can simply both enter the Fifth Amendment and then the state can rely on whatever testimonies they would like to bring forth. It is incredibly difficult to prove that one was driving and one was not, but people have been charged this way before.