The shopping mall parking lot had emptied and the street lights had dimmed but a red Acura, engine chugging, loitered in front of a dark Payless ShoeSource. In the early hours of a December morning, a patrolling police officer spotted the car, roused the sleeping driver, and gave him a sobriety test. 

Attila Kiss, who had stopped on his way home from a Christmas party, failed the test. And although his car was not moving, he was charged and later convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. Should Kiss have been granted leniency because he tried to do the right thing, pulling off the road into the North Andover shopping mall when he felt impaired? Courts in Arizona allow a legal defense for drivers who pull over when they feel too drunk to drive. Kiss took his case to the state Appeals Court, arguing that Massachusetts should do the same...

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1,268 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 18 years ago by KikiPeepers

Should police be able to charge people with drunk driving if they were merely sitting in their car?
The shopping mall parking lot had emptied and the street lights had dimmed but a red Acura, engine chugging, loitered in front of a dark Payless ShoeSource. In the early hours of a December morning, a patrolling police officer spotted the car, roused the sleeping driver, and gave him a sobriety test.

Attila Kiss, who had stopped on his way home from a Christmas party, failed the test. And although his car was not moving, he was charged and later convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. Should Kiss have been granted leniency because he tried to do the right thing, pulling off the road into the North Andover shopping mall when he felt impaired? Courts in Arizona allow a legal defense for drivers who pull over when they feel too drunk to drive. Kiss took his case to the state Appeals Court, arguing that Massachusetts should do the same...

http://www.boston.com/news/local/ar...


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18 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 10/13/03 - 4:09:43 PM EST (GMT-5)
Depends on where they are. I mean, if they're in their own driveway, no. But, if they're sitting in their car on the side of the road or something, maybe. Hmm...I don't know though. Good question.
18 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 10/13/03 - 4:12:11 PM EST (GMT-5)
I think there is a gray area, and this guy will win his case with a lawyer who wants to make a name for himself or herself.
A friend of my brother got a DUI sitting in his parked car. He hadn't driven at all from where they'd been drinking, but he had turned on the engine because it was the middle of the winter and he wanted the heat. He then fell asleep. I think he got his ticket thrown out.
18 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 10/13/03 - 10:36:59 PM EST (GMT-5)
In the UK you can be prosecuted for drunk driving if you are in the car with the keys in your possesion!

Following the same logic if you stop the car and are seen to get out looking drrunk the police cannot arrest you gor drunk driving.

They have to first approach you when you are still in the car.

When a was a teenager the police began tailing us in a car when my friend had driven us home from a bar. We were close to home so he puled over and everyone got out and the police just gave up.

18 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 10/13/03 - 10:47:04 PM EST (GMT-5)
my ex's bf got a dui for sitting in the car while drunk..

*laughing my ass off*

18 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Monday 10/13/03 - 11:47:06 PM EST (GMT-5)
you could argue, why did he have to take his car to a party when he knew he was likely to drink?

If they keep enforcing this maybe people will leave their cars home and it will save a lot more lives than hoping that the drunk drivers decide to pull over and have a nap.

18 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Wednesday 10/15/03 - 11:59:32 PM EST (GMT-5)
but if you left your car home, you'd be walking... you wouldn't be able to catch a ride. it's a dumb law.
18 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Thursday 10/16/03 - 12:03:39 AM EST (GMT-5)
I think that they shouldn't do that. He was doing the right thing by stopping, and now they're punishing him for that? Isn't the point of giving people tickets and making it illegal is to get people to do the right thing and not do it? He may have started to do the wrong thing, but at least he realized what he was doing, and now he's getting in trouble for it. That would sure kick my motivation to stop next time.
18 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Monday 11/3/03 - 7:40:56 AM EST (GMT-5)
I think its stupid to get a person for being in the car. If the car was on THEN its okay, but if the car was not on, then there was no broken law.
18 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 11/13/03 - 5:12:52 PM EST (GMT-5)
That is SO wrong. A similar thing happened to a friend of mine. It's totally ass-backwards and only rewards people for being stupid (and continuing to drive) while punishing those intelligent to realize that they're not as sober as they thought they were!!!!
18 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Friday 11/21/03 - 2:09:46 PM EST (GMT-5)
No, I think it's stupid. Drinking while in the car shouldn't really be a big deal because DUI would be driving under the influence and if you just sitting in the car w/o driving that's sitting under the influence.
18 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Sunday 11/23/03 - 10:49:56 AM EST (GMT-5)
Maybe if they're sitting in a car that is rapped arpound a tree or something.
18 yrs ago, 9 mos ago - Monday 12/15/03 - 12:35:56 AM EST (GMT-5)
The only way to not be charged is if you take 3 steps.
1. Exit the vehicle for more than 5 minutes
2. Put the keys in the trunk, to show your intent to not drive
3. Emergency flashers must be on.
18 yrs ago, 9 mos ago - Monday 12/15/03 - 2:34:39 AM EST (GMT-5)
I learned this in traffic school a while back:
If the person is capable of driving the vehicle(regardless of intention) then he/she shall recieve a DUI.
I guess it doesn't matter what your intentions are, its the fact that you are capable of driving.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 1/16/04 - 4:37:13 AM EST (GMT-5)
if you are in physical control of the car you can be ticketed. my friend used to sleep in his car all the time, as long as the keys are not in your possesion then there's nothing they can ticket you for.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 1/16/04 - 5:00:44 AM EST (GMT-5)
i think NO!!!! definitely NO!

i've known of plenty of times when a person was intoxicated and didn't want to drive home but also didn't want to sit out in the FREEZING COLD so they turned the car on to keep it warm inside and went to sleep in the driver's seat in a parking lot. i think that counts as RESPONSIBILITY and should be rewarded, not punished. of course, if someone is found pulled off to the side of the road, that's a different story. they obviously had to drive to get there so they were driving intoxicated and can be tickited for it. but of course, i suppose it's hard to tell if the person just climbed in and turned the car on or if they drove halfway across town before finding a parking lot to pass out in, but i still think it's a bit dumb to ticket people for just sitting there. seems like you should need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they had either driven already or else inteded to drive.

18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 1/22/04 - 1:41:11 PM EST (GMT-5)
I am all for it. He shouldn't of been behind the wheel at all. That is why they have desinated drivers or taxi's. If you really plan to go out and get bombed, then take someone with you who won't drink. By arresting the man, they probably just saved a bunch of lives. Just getting a little sleep will not make you sober. You might feel like you are but really your not. It takes a while to get sober and coffee only makes you a wide awake drunk.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 1/22/04 - 1:52:32 PM EST (GMT-5)
I'm not in favour of drink driving, but if you just wanted to sleep in your car when drunk, go to the off licence, buy a bottle of vodka, then if the police see you, step out of the vehicle, open the bottle and take a swig.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 1/23/04 - 2:29:08 PM EST (GMT-5)
If someone is sleeping with the car not running, I say leave him/her alone.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 1/23/04 - 3:19:23 PM EST (GMT-5)
If he was sitting in the passenger or back seat with the car off, then I think he should be let go. But sitting behind the wheel would have made it too easy for him to turn the car on and drive off.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 1/23/04 - 5:11:26 PM EST (GMT-5)
DUI/DWI 101

It depends on the state in which you live; how they define the DUI laws; and how case law interprets it. Some states all you have to do is start the car. In Ca there must be some volitional movement no matter how slight.

Different states also define the amount of effect that is necessary (i.e Ca under the influence such that you can;t drive as a sober person would vs. AZ which states "any impairment". In CA can be charged with an attmpted DUI though. (i.e person tries to move the car and the parking break is on).

Also, there is case law that states that a person is allowed to provide shelter for themselves and the better choice is to run the heater and not drive, than lay in the car and freeze.

18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 1/23/04 - 5:51:46 PM EST (GMT-5)
I say no, I work for the local sheriff's department and that would only create more paperwork for me. Let the idiots kill themselves.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 1/23/04 - 6:07:50 PM EST (GMT-5)
Sorry, to answer the question; if there intent was to drive then yes. If to keep warm, then no. In this case the guy did drive then stopped driving. We can only assume that he did not ingest any alcohol after he parked or the case would suck from the prosecutor's standpoint.
18 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Thursday 2/5/04 - 1:00:50 PM EST (GMT-5)
Only one problem Layla48 it usually isn't the drunk that is killed, it is often an innocent 'bystander'. I mean how would you like to be the one hit by the DUI, you talk about paperwork.. In this case the person apparently had to drive to reach the parking lot where he was stopped, I would call that DUI.
18 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Thursday 2/26/04 - 9:43:21 AM EST (GMT-5)
They shouldn't be charged, especially if they have the decency to pull over. The charge is called drink driving as in actually driving. I think the police are just after credit when they do pathetic things like that.
17 yrs ago, 1 mos ago - Wednesday 7/27/05 - 4:17:36 PM EST (GMT-5)

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