Can I Be Arrested for DUI in Tennessee If I Am Asleep in My Car?

Under Tennessee DUI Laws, you can be arrested for DUI under two different scenarios. First, the State must prove you were driving a car or motor vehicle on a public road or an area open to the public at large. Secondly, the State can prosecute a DUI case if you were in physical control of your vehicle. This article will discuss being in physical control of a motor vehicle.

Most defense attorneys, district attorneys, and judges struggled with the concept of the true meaning of what constitutes being in physical control until the Tennessee Supreme Court clarified and defined physical control of an automobile in State of Tennessee v. Lawrence. The Court held that there are four factors that define being in physical control of a vehicle:

  • Was the car engine running?
  • Were the keys within reach of the occupant?
  • Was the occupant in the front seat?
  • Was the vehicle capable of being operated?

If you have any questions about being in physical control of an automobile or truck in Tennessee, feel free to leave a message on our website.