Can you be charged with OWI even though you had not been operating a vehicle with in a period of time – say an hour or more.

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Can you be charged with OWI even though you had not been operating a vehicle with in a period of time – say an hour or more.

My girlfriend was issued an OWI even though she had not been driving for an hour or two before the incident.

She went to her ex-husband’s home to inquire why her name was still on the mortgage of the property he was living in. After about an hour or so of arguing, her ex-husband called the police.

She was asked to submit to a breathalyzer and refused. She had not been driving at the time and has a history of anxiety issues but was charged with an OWI.

Asked on April 26, 2018 under Criminal Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be charged if the facts support doing so, such as:
1) Your condition suggests you had been drinking earlier, before or when you drove;
2) There is witness (e.g. her ex-husband) testimony that you showed up to the location drunk;
3) You drove there, so if you had been drinking earlier, you must have been driving under the influence.
So it depends on whether the facts and evidence support charges or not.


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