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DUI charge filed against sleeping California driver

Being at the controls of a vehicle while intoxicated can have devastating consequences. Sometimes a driver can face a DUI charge, even if he or she is not actually driving. This is what happened to a California man who reportedly fell asleep behind the steering wheel of his car in the early morning hours of a recent Monday.

The California Highway Patrol report indicates that a stationary vehicle on a freeway off-ramp in the San Diego area raised suspicion. Upon closer inspection, officers allegedly found a locked car with the driver fast asleep with the engine running and his foot on the brake. What was first believed to be a growling dog was later found to be a snoring passenger.

After repeatedly knocking on the car's window and shining a flashlight in the driver's face, officers managed to wake the sleeping driver and get him to unlock the door. After he allegedly failed a field sobriety test, the driver was arrested and charged with suspicion of driving under the influence. Although the passenger was also taken to a holding facility by the CHP, there is no indication of him or her being charged.

Even if a suspected drunk driver was not actually driving at the time, the fact that he was alleged to be behind the wheel of the car that was in drive may constitute drunk driving. The most sensible step for any California driver in such circumstances may be to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can examine the DUI charge and the evidence. Having a skilled legal representative will ensure the protection of the accused's rights.

Source: ktla.com, "Alleged DUI Driver Arrested After Video Shows Him Passed Out in Car Off San Diego Freeway", Tracy Bloom, May 9, 2016

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