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Can I be convicted of dui in the passenger seat if the police approach the vehicle and release the intoxicated driver??

Tempe, AZ |

I was in the passenger seat of a friends truck leaving the club we were drinking I was extremely intoxicated and didn't realize our DD was drunk too, after we were pulled over the police who noted that the driver was drunk let him go and gave me a dui

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Attorney answers 5


Short answer: No. Get an attorney. If the facts are indeed as you claim them to be, you likely have a defensible case. A DUI requires that you had actual physical control of the vehicle.


I agree with my collegue about your case. You have to be driving a motor vehicle or in actual physical control of the vehicle to be convicted of DUI. Your case is defensible under those facts.


Something does not seem correct. You need to get representation, get the police report, and interview witnesses.
Aaron M. Black
Criminal & DUI Defense Attorney
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Law Office of Aaron M. Black, PLLC
3219 East Camelback Road #573
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Office #: 480-729-1683


I agree that something does not sound right. Clearly if in fact you were the passenger then you have a valid defense, but if the officers have evidence that you were driving and then switched seats to avoid being charged, then you've got an uphill battle and it will become a factual dispute at trial, assuming there is in fact a valid dispute.


My guess is that the police are going to contend that you switched seats with the passenger, but there are also Arizona cases about people being prosecuted for things like grabbing the wheel of a moving vehicle while drunk and in the passenger seat, so as my colleagues unanimously suggest - talk to an attorney about your case ASAP.

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