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Is it safe to sleep off a few drinks in a car in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | DWI

The average adult struggles to accurately gauge their own chemical impairment. People frequently do not realize how drunk they are until someone else points out their symptoms. Even those who recognize that they have had too much to drink may find themselves in a very difficult situation. They may be at a party or a business where they cannot spend the night, which means they need to leave before they regain sobriety.

Frequently, people make the mistake of trying to drive home after having too much to drink. They may then end up arrested and prosecuted for impairment at the wheel. Others might make what seems like a safer choice by deciding to sleep in their vehicle until they sober back up again. Unfortunately, doing so can actually be a very risky choice.

Sleeping it off could still lead to arrest

When a police officer spots someone sleeping in their vehicle, they will likely knock on the window to talk with that person. If an individual shows clear signs of intoxication while in a vehicle and has the keys to the vehicle, an officer can arrest them for drunk driving. Technically, the standard for drunk driving charges allows for someone’s prosecution when they are in control of a vehicle. Being inside a vehicle with the keys to operate it essentially means that someone could begin driving at any point and may have already driven after having too much to drink.

There are secondary risks to consider

An unconscious person in a vehicle might seem like an ideal target for certain types of criminals. Someone who has had too much to drink probably cannot defend themselves against an attempted car theft or other crimes. Additionally, particularly if someone parked their vehicle close to a party venue, there could potentially be many other drunk drivers in the same area. Those impaired motorists could very well strike the parked vehicle, possibly causing injury or worse for the person trying to be responsible by sleeping instead of driving.

It is almost always a safer and smarter choice to arrange to stay somewhere indoors after having too much to drink. Learning more about when the state can prosecute someone for drunk driving may help people make smarter choices in the moment.