When people have had a few too many drinks, they may decide to “pull over and sleep it off” before continuing to their destination believing they are making a safe and responsible decision. What many people don’t realize is that you can be charged with a Wisconsin OWI even when parked in your own parking place, someone else’s parking place or even when you are parked on the street. In the eyes of the law, an intoxicated person behind the wheel of even a parked car is risky business.
It is important to note that the police do not have to see you driving to prove that you drove or operated the vehicle while intoxicated. Under questioning, you may admit that you drove or the officers might fill in the blanks and “say” that you drove, which will be used as evidence against you.
Take the case of the Wisconsin man who was observed sleeping in his running vehicle outside a business in the wee hours of the morning by police. An officer approached his car to check on his well being only to discover the man was intoxicated and, after putting two-and-two together with regard to his operation of the vehicle, charged the man with OWI.
Although the man felt like his Forth Amendment rights had been violated when the officer opened his car door to check on him – a worthy defense put forth by his criminal defense team – his motion to suppress evidence was denied. Under the circumstances, the officer expressed that he believed the man may have been experiencing a medical emergency and, therefore, the court found that the police acted reasonably in performing the warrantless search pursuant to the police officer’s exercise of a bona fide community caretaker function.
Every case is different, however. The best Wisconsin OWI DUI lawyer will advance arguments regarding not only probable cause in a search, but will challenge blood alcohol content (BAC) results, and raise problems with any evidence the police present against you in order to have your charges dismissed or seek to have your charges reduced.
If you are ever in a position where you are approached in your parked car after you have been drinking and charged with Wisconsin OWI or have been pulled over on the road and arrested for OWI, it is important to get the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Waukesha, Wisconsin drunk driving attorneys of Andrew C. Ladd LLC can help you if you have been charged with operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Contact our offices through or website or give us a call for immediate assistance today 262-542-3900. We offer a free consultation.