Can I Get a DUI on Private Property?

January 24, 2024

A West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes Will Protect Your Rights

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense that involves operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level that surpasses the legal limit. In most states, the legal limit stands at 0.08 percent. A DUI charge can be serious, leading to penalties such as fines, license suspension, and even jail time.

One common misconception about DUI laws is that they apply only to public roads. However, this is not the case in all jurisdictions. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the law does not differentiate between public and private property regarding DUI charges.

The Pennsylvania Vehicle Code stipulates that an individual may not drive, operate, or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing sufficient alcohol such that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving, operating, or being in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle. This law applies whether you are on a public highway or traffic way or private property.

Examples of DUI on Private Property

To better understand how one might get a DUI on private property, consider the following scenarios:

  • Driving on a private driveway: Suppose you have had too much to drink at a party and decide to sleep it off in your car parked in your driveway. If you start the car for heat or listen to music, you could face a DUI charge.
  • Operating a vehicle on private land: Let’s say you own a large piece of land, and you decide to drive your ATV around after consuming alcohol. Even though you are on your private property, you could still be charged with a DUI if you are over the legal limit.
  • Driving in a private parking lot: Imagine drinking at a bar and realizing you are probably over the legal limit. You decide to practice driving in the bar’s private parking lot to see if you can drive home safely. Even though you are not on a public road, you can still be charged with a DUI.

Legal Assistance for a DUI Charge on Private Property

Facing a DUI charge can be stressful and confusing, especially if the incident occurred on private property. It is important to remember that you have rights and legal options. An experienced DUI attorney can provide invaluable guidance and representation.

A skilled DUI lawyer can analyze the details of your case, question the validity of the BAC test results, challenge the legality of your arrest, and present evidence to support your defense. They can also negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges or alternative sentencing options.

A West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes Will Protect Your Rights

Getting a DUI anywhere can be extremely frustrating but also wreak havoc on your life. Protect your rights by speaking with a West Chester criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes today. Call 610-431-7900 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.

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