Many people mistakenly believe that in order to be charged with driving under the influence, a law enforcement officer must catch you in the act of driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is not the case.
In Tennessee, the courts operate under specific language that has been defined for the purposes of enacting and enforcing law. To that end, the Tennessee court system has decided that “driving” and “operating” are essentially equal to being behind the wheel or even in close proximity of an operable vehicle when it comes to DUI. If you are sitting in the driver’s seat of a car with the key in the ignition and the engine idling, you are “operating” that vehicle, according to the language of the law. Further, if you are sleeping in your car with your keys in your pocket, this could be enough to be found in “physical control” of a motor vehicle and guilty of DUI in Tennessee.
The court also has defined what “physical control” means, as it relates to motor vehicles and DUI. Factors that play in to physical control include: where the driver is in relation to the vehicle; the location of the vehicle’s key; whether the engine is running or not; the driver’s ability to move or operate the vehicle (if the driver was not intoxicated); and the extent to which the vehicle was capable of being operated.
While this may sound like a bunch of technical legal jargon, it is important to understand that these terms and definitions could mean the difference between a DUI conviction and a dismissal of the charges. This is why it is critical to have an experienced attorney on your side who understands these legal definitions and can argue on your behalf in the language of the court.
Marcos Garza is a Knoxville-based attorney who deals primarily in DUI defense. He has successfully handled thousands of DUI cases across east, middle and even western Tennessee. As an experienced lawyer who has achieved recognition among his peers and completed countless hours of forensic training, he is well equipped to provide you the best possible legal representation in your DUI case.
If you or someone you love has been charged with DUI in the state of Tennessee, call the Garza Law Firm at (888) 680-7554 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Don’t leave you DUI case to chance. Call (888) 680-7554 to schedule your free consultation with the Garza Law Firm today.