In Minnesota, Driving, operating, or being physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is against the law. In some circumstances clients are confused as to how they can be charged with a DWI even though they were never driving. However, being in physical control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, even though there is no evidence you actually operated a motor vehicle is sufficient to convict someone with a DWI.
WHAT IS “PHYSICAL CONTROL” OF A MOTOR VEHICLE?
Being in physical control of a motor vehicle means you have the means to initiate any movement of that vehicle and are in close proximity to the operating controls of the vehicle. The term ‘physical control’ includes people found in or near a parked vehicle who have sufficient control or access to control of the vehicle where they could drive or operate the vehicle without too much difficulty. However, merely being in a situation where you could start the vehicle and present a danger to the public or yourself is not sufficient. An officer must have some additional evidence that you have or are about to do something that makes the vehicle a source of danger. Contrary to popular belief, merely having the keys to the vehicle on you or near you may not be sufficient to convict you of a DWI, but the location of the keys is a factor in determining whether you were in physical control of a motor vehicle.
DEFENDING DWI CHARGES
If you have been arrested and charged with DWI where you did not drive or operate a motor vehicle, your best legal defense is to contact Minnesota DWI lawyer Coley Grostyan as soon as possible at 612-747-2254. With a thorough knowledge and understanding of Minnesota alcohol and drug related driving offenses; Coley has the education and experience necessary to fight for the best possible outcome in your case.