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Is Drinking in a Parked Car Illegal?

When it comes to laws surrounding drinking around vehicles, you can usually expect pretty strict expectations for the state government. If you are drinking or using almost any controlled substance, it is illegal, and you could be charged with a DUI or DWI if caught.

While most states differ in their exact DUI laws, most states prohibit drinking while behind the wheel or in physical control of a car whether or not the car is moving.

The consequences of having an open bottle or influenced driver behind a non-moving vehicle can vary. A few things that a court will take into consideration when looking at this type of DUI charge, for example, is:

  • location of the driver

  • location of the car

  • location of the keys

  • whether the car’s engine was running, and

  • whether the driver was awake or asleep.

DUI Consequences

If you do get a DUI conviction, you should know that the penalties can vary based on your case. However, there are penalties set up as a baseline for violating DUI laws.

First DUI

  • Fines: $390-$1,000 + Penalty assessments

  • Jail: 48 hours-6 months or probation

  • Up to 6-months license suspension

  • Probation: 3 years, including 3-month DUI school

Second DUI

  • Fines: $390-$1,00 + penalty assessments

  • Jail: 96 hours-1 year or house arrest or work programs

  • Up to 2-years license suspension

  • Probation: 3 years, including 18-30 month DUI school

Third DUI

  • Fines: $390-$1,00 + penalty assessments

  • 120 days-1 year (or 30 days if probation and 30-month DUI school granted)

  • Up to 3-years license suspension

  • Probation: 3-5 years and 30-month DUI school at judge’s discretion

What Should You Do After a DUI?

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, the next best step to take is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer. The cost of fines combined with the cost of having a conviction on your record can be detrimental.

At Mark Raymond McDonald, Esq., A Law Corporation, we may be able to help with your charges today. Call us today to talk to someone about setting up your defense for your case. (909) 443-1599.