Can the police arrest you for a DUI if some one calls and says you are suspicious while siting on a parking lot a Walgreen.

Asked about 2 years ago - Fort Pierce, FL

I was siting on a parking lot at Walgreens with my door open and the keys on my lap. A police officer came to my door and said that they had got a call about a suspicious individual asked for my ID. I gave it to him and told him I was just waiting to use the DVD Rental Machine. The officer closed my car door and told me to stay in the car. I was then asked to blow on a breathalyzer and I refused at that point the officer said that he was going to arrest me for DUI. I asked him to please not do it since I live only 2 block from the store. They Arrested me and toed my vehicle. I did not speak with anyone at the store or even got off my car why was I a suspicious person??

Attorney answers (6)

  1. James Kevin Hayslett

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    15

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . My answer is going to be different than the other above lawyers answers. First to justify a traffic stop the stopping officer would've had to observe a basis, reasonable articuable suspicion, for that stop. However that's not what happened in your case. The state is going to argue that the law-enforcement officers contact with you was "a citizens contact". What this means is if a law-enforcement officer can approach a citizen like yourself in a car and begin a conversation. If during that citizens contact that law-enforcement officer develops probable cause for an investigation i.e. odor of alcohol on your breath,bloodshot watery eyes,you in the driver seat, keys near your ready reach or in the ignition they can begin a valid DUI investigation. The allegation of an anonymous tip that you were driving poorly prior to getting to Walgreens may not have any issue or bearing on your case. You do need an experienced DUI attorney to help you through this process because in my opinion a motion to suppress is warranted and may be granted based upon the facts. However the fact basis you provided is insufficient for me to give you an exact or accurate determination of the outcome of your case.

  2. Lawrence A. Newman

    Contributor Level 10

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First, consult with a local FL DUI lawyer, I am licensed in FL, NY, NJ, and PA but limit my DWI practice to NYS.

    In Florida, the state must prove you were in actual physical control. You do not have to be driving the car to be charged with DUI. Being asleep in a parked vehicle can be a basis for a DUI prosecution.

    Under Florida DUI law, “Actual physical control” is defined as being in or on a vehicle AND having the present capability to operate the vehicle.

    The question: Because you were in the car, with the keys on your lap, you could have had the capability to operate the vehicle?

    Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D. Attorney at Law Doctor of Chiropractic Licensed in NY, PA, NJ, & FL... more
  3. David Richard Damore

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. But being arrested and getting convicted are not the same. Hire an attorney to fight the charge.

    David R. Damore, Esq., Damore, Delgado, Romanik & Rawlins, Daytona Beach, FL, (386) 255-1400. Mr. Damore is a... more
  4. Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

    Contributor Level 19

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are correct that the police needed some reason but they do not have to witness any bad driving.

    If they got a such a call, whether or not justified, it was within reason to approach your car and talk to you. If they gathered sufficient evidence to give probable cause, you can be charged.

    You need a good dui/dwi lawyer, now. Any wait can mean you lose your license even if the charges against you are eventually found to be without merit.

    Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. This answer is not legal advice, which... more
  5. Stephanie Thompson Pawuk

    Contributor Level 8

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need a lawyer. And get one before your 10 day ticket allowing you to drive is up. Whoever you hire needs to have an administrative review hearing with DHSMV. Your case centers around the stop and who called it in. Make sure whoever you hire understands that issue.

  6. Thomas Anthony Sadaka

    Contributor Level 8

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to hire an experienced DUI attorney. I agree with Mr. Damore, an arrest does not mean conviction.

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