A key factor in any California driving under the influence (DUI) case is whether or not the offender was actually “driving.” In a number of CA DUI/DWI cases, the police may catch up with a suspected offender after he or she was driving. The individual may be outside of the vehicle, asleep in a vehicle, or nowhere near a vehicle when the police arrive.
This, of course, poses a problem for a District Attorney’s case. Remember, the District Attorney has to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the individual was actually “driving drunk.” A good California DUI/DWI attorney can raise this issue in court and if it can not be established beyond all doubt, then the suspected offender should be able to obtain a ruling of not guilty. Note that there are different rules that apply in criminal court compared to the California DMV Administrative hearing in regards to “driving.”
When raising doubts as to whether or not the suspected offender was actually driving, an experienced California DUI/DWI attorney will often raise the following questions:
- Does the suspected offender have a reasonable explanation as to why he or she was near the vehicle when police arrived?
- Was the vehicle’s engine running?
- Was the suspected offender conscious?
- Were the keys in the ignition?
- What was the position of the vehicle?
- Was the suspected offender seated in the vehicle or standing outside of the vehicle when the police arrived?
- Was the vehicle parked?