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Here at the Weingart Firm in Tempe, AZ, we have seen quite a few cases in which the person being charged with a DUI walks into our office and claims that they were not actually driving their vehicle. They just moved it. These people do not seem to understand why they have been charged with a DUI. The truth is folks, in the state of Arizona whether you move your care three inches or three feet, driving is driving. It does not matter if you length which you drove encompassed the time it took reposition a car in the parking spot it’s already resting in. If you move your car at all you can be charged with a DUI. These cases lie under a category called “Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle.”
There have been a number of DUI cases seen in Arizona state court that answer the question of “actual physical control of a vehicle.” If you are curious about what actually delegates actual physical control of a vehicle, some of these examples may help. Some of these results are rather surprising.
The State of Arizona v. Zavala, 136 Ariz. 356,666 P.2d 456 (1983)
As ridiculous as this sounds, the result was the same. It seems Mr. Zavala narrowly escaped a DUI conviction by the skin of his teeth. However this next case is a perfect example of why even approaching your car, no matter your intentions, while you are intoxicated is a bad idea.
The State of Arizona v. Zaragoza, 221 Ariz. 49,55,209 P.3d 629,635 (2009)
So, bottom line; even if you don’t intend to drive your car, if you are intoxicated do not approach it. Do not even think about it. In fact, walk in the opposite direction of your car. Run if you need to. The fact is it’s just not worth the risk to you, your driving recording, and potentially other people if you do decide to drive. Call a taxi, rent a hotel room, phone a friend. do whatever you need to do to get yourself home safe that does not involve driving, or anything associated with you driving (like sleeping in your car). If you do, by chance, find yourself being charged with a DUI, whatever the circumstances, then give us a call. The Weingart Firm will help you sort it out.