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Can You Be Arrested for a DWI If You Aren’t Driving?

Posted on Dec 26, 2013 in DUI/DWI

Recently, Psych Central reported that a study of 22,000 high school seniors showed an increase in drugged driving even while the number of teens involved in drunk driving incidents has declined. As many as 28 percent of teens reported that they had either driven after using marijuana or been in the car with someone who used marijuana within the two weeks prior to taking the survey. Psych Central reported that “teenagers will always be in a high-risk category due to the qualities that go along with adolescents,” such as being impulsive and feeling invincible. However, while teens are at the greatest risk of dying in car accidents, any driver of any age could potentially get behind the wheel when impaired and could be at risk of accident or arrest. Those who use marijuana or who consume alcohol also face other potential criminal charges for violating the law while impaired, and a New Orleans criminal defense law firm should be consulted by those facing charges for party crimes. Facts to Know About Party Crimes At Bloom Legal, our New Orleans criminal defense law firm specializes in defending locals and visitors to the area who are accused of party crimes like driving drunk or like marijuana offenses. To help those who are arrested understand what to expect, BloomLegalTV provides answers to some common questions that people have. One recent video, for example, has some advice both for those worried about being charged with marijuana crimes and for those who are behind the wheel while impaired and who are concerned about a drunk driving conviction. Some things you should know about marijuana and drunk driving crimes that our New Orleans criminal defense law firm covers in the video include:  
  • The rules for drunk driving charges when the car isn’t moving. Driving a vehicle is an essential element of a drunk driving offense, although this vehicle doesn’t have to be a car (the law says you can’t drive a motorcycle, boat or even a lawn mower while impaired).  However, if your keys are in the ignition, you could probably be charged with a DWI even if you aren’t moving at the time. If you’re going to take a nap in the car when you’re drunk, have the keys put away and don’t have the engine running so you don’t take a chance of being arrested.
  • The laws related to marijuana use. These laws haven’t changed in New Orleans yet, although marijuana cases have now largely been relegated to municipal court, and certain new incentives have been created for plea-bargaining. If you agree to pay a $400 fine and plead guilty to a first-time marijuana offense, the offense can be treated as non-enhanceable. This means that while you normally would be charged with a felony for a second offense (your first offense thus enhancing the penalties for the second), this won’t happen if you pay your fine and admit guilt. You’ll still face the first-offense misdemeanor consequences and have a criminal record.
It is important to understand what the laws are related to drunk driving and marijuana offenses because this criminal record can impact your future. The New Orleans criminal defense law firm of Bloom Legal is here to help, so call today to schedule your consultation.

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