Sleeping it off in your car may seem like a smart idea after a night of partying and drinking, but New Orleans DUI/DWI lawyers warn that it may not always be the best choice, especially if you choose to park your car on the side of a road, or even in the road, while you take your nap. Police officers from the Kenner Police Department arrested a Missouri man when they found him sleeping on I-10 last month.
Leronne Triplett, 37, had parked his Ford pickup in the center eastbound lane of the highway on Saturday morning around 2:30 AM. Kenner police officer Arthur Coll was escorting a group of prisoners to Jefferson Parish Correctional Center when he noticed the truck stopped before the exit for Williams Boulevard. When the responding officers approached the truck, they found Triplett asleep inside, with the vehicle in park.
Triplett appeared inebriated when the officers woke him up, and smelled of alcohol. Officers had him perform a field sobriety test, and asked for a breathalyzer sample. Triplett blew a 0.128—the legal limit in Louisiana is 0.08—and could not complete the field sobriety test accurately. He was charged with a DWI and simple obstruction of a highway, and taken to the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.
Although Triplett was not driving his vehicle when officers arrested him, he will nonetheless face charges for driving under the influence. New Orleans DUI and DWI lawyers say that in Louisiana, along with several other states, a driver can be charged with a DUI/DWI offense if he or she is in a vehicle and has the keys. All that is needed for officers to issue a DUI charge is evidence that the inebriated person had been operating the vehicle. In Triplett’s case, because he was parked in the middle of a lane on the highway, officers could reasonably surmise that he had been driving his truck that night, at least from the place where he had been drinking to that spot on the road.
Because Triplett is from Missouri, he will face the penalties put in place by his home state for a DUI charge. This practice is in accordance with the Interstate Compact Law, which mandates that the arresting state’s Department of Transportation contact the state in which the driver is licensed. However, New Orleans DWI lawyers say that the laws governing suspicion of drinking and driving may differ from state to state, and that contacting a lawyer from the state of arrest may be a wise course of action.
Drunk driving attorneys encourage drivers to recognize when they’ve had enough to drink, and refrain from driving home. But attorneys caution drivers that sleeping in their cars until they’ve sobered up is not a viable option, because by law, they can be charged with drinking and driving, even if the car is not running. New Orleans DUI/DWI attorney Seth Bloom represents drivers who have been caught drinking and driving in the state of Louisiana. If you are facing DUI or DWI charges, contact Seth Bloom at Bloom Legal for a consultation today.