Although the offense of DUI stands for driving under the influence, driving is not a requirement to get a DUI or DWI.Eric A. Rice
Although the offense of DUI stands for driving under the influence, driving is not a requirement to get a DUI or DWI. Minnesota law makes it a crime to “drive, operate, or be in physical control of any motor vehicle” while under the influence. While the terms “drive” and “operate” suggest a running car, the term “physical control” has been interpreted more broadly.
Under Minnesota law, a person is in physical control of a vehicle if they have the means to initiate movement of the vehicle and are in close proximity to the controls of the vehicle. Thus, a person sitting in a car with the keys in the ignition could qualify as physical control of a vehicle–even if that person never actually drove the car or intended to drive the car.
The physical control issue is just one of many complexities of DWI law in Minnesota. Other issues, such as whether the police properly stopped you, whether an alcohol test was properly administered, and whether a jail sentence is required demonstrate the value of retaining an experienced DWI attorney.
DWIs are difficult experiences and can have lasting impacts on your finances, job, and family. St. Paul DWI attorney Eric Rice understands the impacts that a DWI can have and can help you get through the process with the lowest impact. If you are charged with a DWI, call Eric for a no-obligation, free consultation at (651) 998-9660.