Scott Walker, former congressional candidate for Delaware, will appeal his DUI charge on February 11th, 2019. The appeal stems from being charged with driving under the influence in October of last year. Police officers found Walker asleep behind the wheel in a parking lot while the car was still running, and made several attempts to wake Walker up before he came to. Officers report that he appeared disoriented and smelled of alcohol. Walker was then arrested after he refused to submit to a breathalyzer test.
DUI After Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel
According to Washington statute, a person can be charged with driving under the influence if he or she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol while being in physical control of the vehicle. It's important to note that physical control doesn't necessarily mean driving. If you are found asleep behind the wheel by a police officer and are suspected of driving drunk, you can still be charged with DUI and face the same penalties as if you were driving while drunk.
Say, for instance, that you decide to pull onto the side of the road or into a parking lot to sleep. This is still considered being "in physical control" of the vehicle, and therefore an officer who spots you asleep behind the wheel can arrest you for driving under the influence if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or more.
Refusing to Submit to a Blood Alcohol Test
In Washington, anyone who drives is considered to have given "implied consent" to be tested for driving under the influence. Therefore, if you are pulled over and a police officer has reason to believe that you were driving under the influence at the time that you were stopped, you are assumed to have consented to alcohol testing.
Your implied consent to submit to alcohol testing means that you face punishment if you refuse to submit to a field sobriety test or blood alcohol test. If you refuse testing, you will lose your driving privileges for one year. A suspended license isn't the only thing that you will face if you refuse the test--your refusal can also be used against you in court by prosecutors, who will likely assert that you refused the test because you knew you were drunk at the time you were pulled over. This can make you appear to be guilty of driving under the influence, even if you were completely innocent.
Charged with DUI in Seattle? We're Here to Help
If you've been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol after being found behind asleep behind the wheel or after refusing to submit to a field sobriety test, you can count on Steve Karimi to provide you with the quality representation you need to defend against your charge. Don't try to fight a DUI charge on your own--your ability to drive is at stake. To speak with a member of our legal team about your charge, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (206) 621-8777 today.