Many people don’t know that in some states APC is the same as DUI. What is APC? APC stands for actual physical control.
Essentially what this means is that in some states, you can get a driving under the influence charge while not driving. In other states, such as California, there must be “volitional movement” for DUI.
DUI attorney, Jeff Yeh says, “If you feel it is necessary to pull over and rest, find a legitimate parking space instead of pulling over by the side of the road, which invites suspicion. An even better idea would be to move to the passenger’s seat to sleep. Moreover, make sure the engine is turned off, and preferably the keys are not in the ignition.”
The definition of actual physical control differs by state but the basic understanding centers on whether or not you have the ability (or control) to operate the vehicle.
Factors that are considered when determining actual physical control include:
- If you’re awake
- If your headlights are on
- Where the ignition key is
- If the vehicle is legally parked or in the roadway
- If your vehicle’s engine is running or the ignition is on
- Where and in what position you are found in the vehicle
As mentioned above, the laws in every state differ and each case is looked at on a case by case basis but here are some examples of cases where people have been charged with DUI and were not driving.
- Someone sleeping in the drivers’ seat of their car with the car off and their keys in their pocket.
- Someone sitting in the drivers’ seat with the keys in the ignition, just listening to music.
- Someone stumbling up to their car fumbling their keys to open the door.
- Someone walking from their car to their front door that had been seen previously drinking.
The bottom line is if you’re under the influence and in physical control of your vehicle, you may be arrested for DUI depending on what state you’re in.
After that, it will be up to the courts to decide, but hiring a competent DUI attorney to defend your case probably in your best interest.