Can I Get a DUI Even if I'm Not Driving?

A DUI charge stands for a “driving while under the influence” charge, but can you receive a DUI charge even if you’re not driving a car? In this blog post, we will examine the laws of Tennessee to get the answer we’re looking for.

Tennessee DUI Definition

In short, the answer is yes: you can receive a DUI charge even if you’re not driving a vehicle. To understand why this is possible, we must examine the legal definition of a DUI charge in Tennessee.

The Tennessee definition of driving under the influence is as follows, “any person who drives, operates, or exercises physical control of a commercial motor vehicle.” For this blog, the key part of this definition is, “exercises physical control of a commercial motor vehicle.”

Physical Control of a Commercial Motor Vehicle

Someone has “physical control” of a car when he or she is sitting in the driver’s seat.

As a result, someone over the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit could be charged with a DUI if they are in the driver’s seat of a vehicle while:

  • Sitting at a red light;
  • Sitting in a parking lot;
  • Placed curbside on a public street.

Therefore, someone sitting in the driver’s seat of a car could receive DUI charges even if they aren’t driving!

DUIs & Letting Others Drive

Your car is your property, which legally means it’s an extension of you. For this reason, letting someone drive your car while they’re drunk can result in DUI charges for you and the driver.

To be convicted for a DUI in this circumstance, the following must be true:

  • The driver must be impaired by drugs or alcohol;
  • You must be in the car with the driver;
  • The driver’s intoxication is reasonably noticeable.

Need Representation for a DUI Charge?

If you or a loved one receives a DUI charge, the Law Office of Joseph Fanduzz can help! Our experienced criminal defense representation is ready to defend you and your rights. Why wait, get the defense you need now.

Call (865) 896-9971 for a free consultation for your case.

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