Defining Driving in Maryland DUIs
The definition of driving in the context of Maryland DUI cases, driving does not literally mean driving. In the State of Maryland, it may include possession, dominion, and control. If a person sits in the driver’s seat of a vehicle and the keys are in the ignition but the car is turned off, the person has the immediate ability to drive. If the keys are in the ignition, it is still considered driving. If the person drove somewhere until they could not drive anymore and they are pulled over on the side of the road, that is still driving because law enforcement can presume that the person got there somehow. Talk to an experienced attorney for more on what constitutes driving.
Circumstances of Driving
If a person is pulled over and sleeping in their car with their keys not in the ignition, it is not driving. In the Atkinson Case, which is a good defensive case if you can show it that someone not only pulled off the side of the road but disabled their vehicle, they parked it in a parking spot and they went to sleep. However, if the officer had reason to believe that the person was driving while intoxicated, that could be an issue.
There are no perfect defenses when it comes to something like this but there are strong defenses that judges may see as proper. If the officers observed that there was some control of the car, then an attorney would have to defend that. Maybe officers did not observe the person driving, but there are witnesses that may have observed the person driving. There could be phone calls that come in or reports of a car traveling in a certain manner. Defining driving in Maryland DUI cases is important because driving is nuanced legally. It is very important to talk with an attorney about what the circumstances were and where the person was when the officer approached them.
Can a Passenger Get Charged with a DUI?
An officer can charge both the driver and the passenger with a DUI if they smell alcohol on both their breaths and neither of them will admit to who was driving if it is unclear who was driving. It is a possibility, but it is also difficult to prove who exactly was driving.
Hiring a Maryland DUI Lawyer
Defining driving in Maryland DUI cases can be difficult. The average person will most likely not know what driving actually entails in the legal definition. This can cause a multitude of complications, like admitting something to the police that the person did not mean to admit. If a person was not driving and they were charged with a DUI because there were two individuals in the car and it was unclear who was driving, that can be challenged by a qualified and experienced attorney. Maryland DUI attorneys have tried multiple DUI cases and know how to defense mechanisms are required. Do not compromise your freedoms. Talk to an attorney today.