September DUI Myth of the Month – I Wasn’t Even Driving!

Keys in IgnitionAlthough DUI typically stands for Driving Under the Influence, a defendant does not actually need to be driving to be found guilty of a DUI! Arizona law prohibits driving or being in actual physical control while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, the penalties for being in actual physical control are the same as driving.

Actual physical control is a heavily litigated and evolving area of Arizona law. Arizona courts use a variety of facts in determining whether someone is in actual physical control of a vehicle. For example, if the engine is running and the vehicle is near a roadway, that might suggest the person in the vehicle is in actual physical control of the vehicle. On the other hand, if the key is nowhere near the ignition and the car is in a parking lot or driveway, a person is more likely to be using the car as a shelter.

In 2009, the Arizona Supreme Court in State v. Zaragoza listed 13 factors in making the actual physical control determination and acknowledged there may still be even more factors! A lot of actual physical control cases, particularly at lower BAC levels are taken to jury trial to consider these many factors. Because there is so much to consider in an actual physical control case, having a defense attorney knowledgeable about the recent developments in the law is important.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI for being in actual physical control of a vehicle, call defense attorney Matt Maerowitz for a free consultation at 602-912-5897.

Image courtesy of winnond at

This entry was posted in Criminal Law, DUI, Myth of the Month and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s