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What are the elements of a drunk driving offense?

Many people think about a drunk driving charge coming when the vehicle is being driven erratically or recklessly. The truth is that a person can face one even if he or she is driving slowly or maybe not even driving at all. This is because of the wording in the applicable laws.

Can you get a drunk driving charge in a parked vehicle?

Some people think that they can sleep alcohol off in their vehicle. This can lead to a drunk driving charge if there is a reason for the officer to believe that you were driving or intend on driving while you are intoxicated. If you do want to do this, make sure that you choose the backseat for your bed just to avoid any appearance of driving.

What factors are used to determine if a person's been driving?

Your location in the vehicle is the primary factor. Sitting in the driver's seat implies that you intend to operate the vehicle. Whether the keys are in the ignition or not is another indication. The location of your car also matters, so sleeping it off in the bar's parking lot might be a better option than pulling over on the highway to do this. Another factor is the condition of the vehicle. If it can't be driven, you shouldn't face a drunk driving charge.

How do police officers figure out if someone is impaired?

Police officers can use a standardized field sobriety test, blood tests, breath tests and urinalysis to determine if a person is legally intoxicated. In New Hampshire, adults who are at least 21 years old can't have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent if they are driving. Drivers with a commercial license and those younger than 21 have a lower legal limit.

Source: FindLaw, "Elements of a DUI Offense," accessed May 04, 2018

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