Can You Be Prosecuted For DUI On Private Property In Arizona?

Posted by Raymond Kimble | Jul 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

Recently, I've received inquiries from several individuals who have been contacted by police, arrested and charged with DUI even though they were not operating a vehicle on a public roadway.  Some examples of these include a person arrested while sitting in his car within an apartment complex parking lot, someone parked at a fast food establishment, a person sleeping in his car inside a parking structure and even another individual who was simply backing out of their own driveway.  

The Law Regarding DUI in Arizona

Arizona law does not distinguish between public roads, semi public areas (such as business parking lots) and private property in determining whether someone can be charged with DUI.  A person can be charged with DUI after being stopped and arrested while:

  • On a Public Roadway
  • In a Business Parking Lot
  • In a Gated Community
  • On a Private Roadway
  • On Private Property

Simply put, A.R.S. 28-1381 states that

"It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence or impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol, drugs or a combination thereof, or if the person has an alcohol concentration above .08% within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle."

Similarly, Arizona's Extreme and Super Extreme DUI statute (A.R.S. 28-1382), prohibits someone from operating a motor vehicle or being in actual physical control of an automobile anywhere in the state with an alcohol concentration above .150%.

Consequently, the threshold issue in a DUI case is not where you were driving but rather, whether you were actually driving or in "actual physical control of a motor vehicle."

Actual Physical Control of a Motor Vehicle

Most DUI charges result from a traffic stop after police observe a motor vehicle violation such as speeding, weaving, failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, making a wide turn, etc.  However, in "non-driving" situations  you can be charged with DUI if police believe you were in "actual physical control of a vehicle."  This commonly occurs when someone is asleep in their car, pulled over to the side of the road or when a car becomes disabled prior to you being contacted by police.  

There is no bright line rule to determine whether a person is in "actual physical control" of a motor vehicle.  Rather police, a prosecutor, judge or jury must examine a number of factors to determine whether a DUI charge and subsequent conviction is justified.  Some of the items which must be considered include:

  • Where a vehicle was located
  • Whether the vehicle was running
  • Whether a person was awake or asleep in the car
  • Where the person is situated in the car
  • How long the vehicle was parked prior to being contacted by police

Arizona has a reputation for imposing some of the harshest penalties in the country upon people who have been charged with DUI, Extreme DUI, Super Extreme DUI and Aggravated DUI.  A conviction will result in mandatory jail terms, a suspension or revocation of your drivers license, mandatory counseling classes, an ignition interlock device and thousands of dollars in fines.  If you have been charged with DUI in Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale or any city within Maricopa County, it's extremely important to contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer who can help you avoid many of the harsh consequences which can accompany a DUI conviction.

Call (480) 833-8613 For Help With Your DUI Case

Undoubtedly, DUI can result in very severe penalties. If you are charged with DUI in any city within the greater Phoenix area, you should immediately consult with an experienced DUI lawyer for assistance.  Attorney Raymond Kimble is a former police officer, DUI and felony prosecutor and has represented thousands of people charged with DUI in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Phoenix and other cities throughout Maricopa and Pinal Counties over the last twenty years. Ray Kimble  will have a clear understanding of all the circumstances in your case, along with the knowledge, skill and experience to protect your drivers license and achieve the best possible outcome for you.   

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Raymond Kimble

About Raymond Kimble Attorney Raymond Kimble has built his law practice on the philosophy that each client deserves consistent individual attention. Ray realizes that being charged with a DUI or criminal offense is one of the most stressful events in a person's life. A DUI, felony or misdemeanor arrest can involve prison or jail time, probation, huge fines and a criminal record. Consequently, people who face DUI, felony or misdemeanor charges in Arizona are placed at risk of losing employment or being barred from future job opportunities. Ray works to lessen his client's anxiety by ensuring that they have direct access to him at all times and can reach him by e-mail, cell phone or text during normal business hours as well as nights or weekends if they have a pressing question or concern. Raymond Kimble is a dedicated DUI and criminal defense lawyer who has built a reputation of working tirelessly to protect his client's constitutional rights, their future and liberty. Ray strives to provide the strongest defense possible for each client despite the obstacles they may face. Put Experience to Work for You Raymond Kimble's twenty years of experience with respect to DUI, misdemeanor and felony criminal charges extends well beyond law school where he graduated within the top ten percent of his class. Ray was a police officer for ten years prior to becoming an attorney. As a police officer, Ray was trained in both DUI and criminal investigation and his personal involvement in criminal cases while a police officer certainly gives him a unique perspective when reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses and challenging physical evidence. Ray often identifies legal issues or mistakes made by police during an investigation through his own personal experience as a patrol officer. In addition to his police experience, Raymond Kimble worked as a prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office where he was responsible for prosecuting DUI, felony and misdemeanor crimes. During his tenure as a prosecutor, Ray conducted a number of jury trials and hearings related to the admissibility of evidence. Through his involvement with these cases as a prosecutor, Ray learned how to properly evaluate the strength and weaknesses of a DUI, misdemeanor or felony charge and became skilled in jury selection, argument, and the direct and cross examination of both civilian witnesses, experts and police officers. Of course, Raymond Kimble's expertise extends beyond his experience as a police officer and prosecutor. Specifically, Ray has successfully represented thousands of people during the last fifteen years throughout Maricopa County, Arizona. To best serve his Clients, Raymond remains current on changes in the law as well as police tactics by regularly attending seminars focused on defending criminal charges and reading the latest articles and books related to DUI and criminal defense. Ray also regularly writes criminal defense blogs and posts so that people faced with a criminal charge are better informed about their rights.


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