I was asleep in my car in Orange county, CA with the engine running and the heater on. Yes, I was drunk. I was arrested for DUI.

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I was asleep in my car in Orange county, CA with the engine running and the heater on. Yes, I was drunk. I was arrested for DUI.

I was drinking at a party in Orange county, CA and after wards I got into my car drunk, but I didn’t drive. I decided to sleep it off in my car. So I put my key in the ignition to put the heater on and passed out. I woke up to a cop knocking on my window and he charged me with a DUI. Is that legal?

Asked on March 22, 2009 under Criminal Law, California


S.B.A., Member, California and Texas Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

So you were asleep in your car, you were drunk at the time, and then you were charged with a DUI in Orange county, CA. It's a legal DUI (VC 23152(b)) if there was any obstruction by your vehicle.

If your car was parked and was not obstructing traffic, there would need to be some movement, however slight, of the vehicle.

Did you move the car, at all, when the Officer knocked on your window, or when you turned the car off ?

You need to read the police report to see, exactly, what the Officer alleges s/he saw.

If there is a contradiction in facts, then it will be a 'he said/he said' trial, and it will be up to the jury to decide the facts.

In most circumstances such as yours, the Prosecutor will offer a 'wet and reckless' - VC 23103 per 23103.5. It doesn't carry the same punishment as a DUI, but it counts as a prior DUI if there is a future similar charge.

You need to consult a DUI attorney in Orange county, CA (California) and discuss your options and the costs and consequences involved.  Good luck.


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