You aren't guilty of Nevada drunk driving unless you drove
It probably seems obvious, but you can't drive drunk or stoned without driving.
Most of the time, this isn't an issue. The police pull you over for an alleged traffic violation or at a DUI roadblock and see that you're the driver.
But what if they're responding to an accident and you're not behind the wheel? Or the cops find you sitting in your car with the motor running, but the car isn't moving?
If this happened to you, your Las Vegas DUI defense lawyer may be able to argue that you weren't guilty of drunk driving because:
- Someone else drove the vehicle, or
- You were in or entering your car drunk or stoned not to drive but for another reason, such as:
- You were cold and wanted to warm up;
- You were tired and wanted to take a nap;
- You needed a place to sober up; or
- You had just argued with someone and were cooling off.
How does the prosecutor prove I drove in Nevada if the police didn't see me?
Prosecutors have various ways of trying to get around the fact that they didn't actually see you drive. Such evidence can include one or more of the following:
- Your admission or the testimony of passengers or other eyewitnesses;
- Traffic video or photographs; or
- A totality of circumstantial evidence, such as:
- You were asleep with the engine running;
- You were trying to put your keys into the ignition;
- Your car was in an odd location (such as partway onto a highway median) and you were sitting in the driver's seat; or
- You were the only person at the scene of an accident other than pedestrians or the occupants of one or more other cars.
How a Nevada DUI lawyer can help prove you didn't drive
The most important thing to remember is that it is not your job to prove that you didn't drive. The prosecutor has the burden of proving every element of a DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that if there is any doubt that you drove, you should not be convicted of DUI.
An experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer can create such reasonable doubt by presenting your side of the story to the prosecutor and, if necessary, the jury. Ways your attorney can do this can include (but are not limited to):
- Showing how traffic camera photos or video makes it doubtful you were behind the wheel; or
- Locating eyewitnesses who:
- Give inconsistent descriptions or testimony about the driver; or
- Support your version of events – for instance, by testifying that before you were arrested, you said you were going out to your car to lie down.
Arrested for DUI in Clark County, Nevada? Call us for help…
Our compassionate Nevada DUI attorneys understand that things are not always the way they appear. We know that innocent people get accused of DUI every day – simply because at first blush things looked bad.
If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI in Las Vegas or Reno, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We'll look for evidence that supports your side of the story and explain it to the prosecutor. Whether it's by showing that you didn't drive or that there were problems with your Nevada DUI breath test or DUI blood test, we'll fight to get your Nevada DUI charges dismissed or reduced.
To schedule your free consultation call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) or fill out the form on this page. One of our caring Reno or Las Vegas DUI attorneys will get back to you promptly to discuss the best defense to your Nevada DUI charges.
To learn about other defenses to Nevada drunk driving charges, you may wish to see our article, "20 Ways to Beat Nevada DUI."
And to learn about DUI defenses in California, please see our article, "20 Ways to Beat a California DUI."