Can I get a DUI in Nevada for sleeping in my car?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Yes, if:

  1. You are drunk or high, or have an illegal amount of alcohol or drugs in your blood; AND
  2. You are in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.

A sleeping person is considered to be in control of a car if the key is in the ignition. Or if the car is parked in an area that suggests that the driver drove there while drunk...such as the side of a highway...the driver can be convicted for DUI in Nevada as well.

Therefore, sleeping in a car while intoxicated is a risky action in Nevada. Although it is unquestionably safer to sleep in a parked car while drunk than to drive the car drunk, the person may still face DUI charges if a cop finds him/her in the car and believes he/she is in actual physical control of the car.

The penalties for a DUI while sleeping in Nevada are no different than a regular DUI. A first-time offense that causes no substantial injuries is a misdemeanor carrying:

  • up to $1,000 in fines;
  • up to 6 months in jail (the judge usually orders a suspended sentence, so the defendant does no jail as long as he/she completes the other sentencing terms);
  • Victim Impact Panel class attendance;
  • DUI School attendance; and
  • 3-month driver's license suspension

Read more information about the Nevada crime of DUI while sleeping.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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