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What is Physical Control?

As you already know, operating a vehicle while intoxicated is illegal; however, being drunk in a vehicle could also lead to a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest. In fact, police officers can arrest intoxicated people in cars, even if the vehicles aren’t turned on.

This law is why residents should understand the meaning of "actual physical command," which gives cops the right to arrest those who are in physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated.

Factors of Physical Control

What counts as physical control of a vehicle depends on the situation at hand.

Factors that officers consider when determining if someone has physical control of a vehicle include:

  • Whether the car was moving at the time of the traffic stop;
  • What part of the vehicle the person was in at the time of the traffic stop;
  • Whether the car was on at the time of the traffic stop.

There are other factors, but the basic idea is whether the intoxicated individual is capable and primed to move the vehicle.

Fighting Physical Control Arrests
Our DUI lawyers understand that responsible citizens may choose to sleep in their cars when they are drunk, without realizing that they could be arrested for physical control. While not every situation calls for a physical control arrest, officers may choose to make an arrest anyway; this is where our attorneys can help.

Monroe & King is here defend those arrested for driving while intoxicated, even if they were just in the sleeping in the driver’s seat. You may be unsure whether you were legally in control of your vehicle, but contacting a knowledgable Jacksonville DUI attorney can help you determine next steps.