Can I be charged for DUI if I’m drinking while waiting for the cops to show up to the accident?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2015 | Uncategorized |

According to the Department of Transportation (US), almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes every day that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes [i]. A DUI, or suspicion of a DUI, is taken very seriously by law enforcement because of the mammoth issue of driving under the influence in the US; however, what if you weren’t driving? Instead you experience an accident at your local bar when you were pulling in and decide to grab a drink before the police arrive? 

Fighting a DUI

Each case for a DUI is incredibly unique. An important factor in the case listed above would be to prove you were not drinking and driving, and that the drinking occurred after the accident, and not prior. Unfortunately, even if you were not driving under the influence, being charged with a DUI can still occur if you are in “actual physical control” of the car. For example if you were waiting in the vehicle for the police to arrive at the accident after you had a drink or a few, with the car keys in the ignition or your car running to keep warm, you could be charged with a DUI. It is an incredibly grey area so consulting a lawyer is important.

Why fight a DUI?

Getting a DUI is often very expensive and can result in one or even several repercussions. Some of the repercussions include:

  • The loss of your license
  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • Attending required alcohol teaching and prevention programs
  • Increased insurance rate
  • A possible blight on your record
  • Not being able to be employed for certain types of work

The consequences are very grave, so especially in the case that you were not driving under the influence when the accident occurred, it is important to contact an attorney for consulting and building your defense case.

Buffalo DUI Lawyer

If you have questions about New York laws involving DUI, we can help. Contact Us at the office of Hall Ricketts Gurbacki, P.C. online or call 716-652-0828 for experienced, ethical, understanding and responsive assistance with all your legal needs in the greater Buffalo, NY area.

[i] Dept of Transportation (US), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Traffic Safety Facts 2012: Alcohol-Impaired Driving. Washington (DC): NHTSA; 2014 [cited 2014 Sep 30]. Available at URL: