Legal Question in DUI Law in Maryland

Is it considered "operating a vehicle"if I am in a private owned 7-11 parking lot behind the wheel engine running intoxicated sleeping?

Asked on 1/27/12, 4:12 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

William Welch William L. Welch, III Attorney

Yes. While some taffic laws apply only on public highways, drunk driving laws apply everywhere, because of the public safety risk. The Court of Appeals has ruled that if the engine is running, you are operating the vehicle.

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Answered on 1/27/12, 4:50 am
Jason Cleckner Law Office of Jason Cleckner, LLC

There is a multi-factor test called the Atkinson test. Engine running is one factor, but also whether you are asleep or awake, upright or lying down, validly parked, and several others. The bottom line is are you using the car for shelter (sounds like you may have been) or are you attempting to drive?

You need to get a good lawyer who knows how to win these cases. I'd be happy to help you with it.

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Answered on 1/27/12, 12:30 pm

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