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What if police arrest me for drunk driving but I wasn’t driving?

| Jun 22, 2018 | Drunk Driving |

Imagine the following circumstance: You go out to a bar on a Saturday night — and although you’re slightly embarrassed to admit it — you had an unusually good time. You also drank far too much alcohol and paid for it the next day with a pounding headache. The worst part about it, though, is that you woke up in a jail cell the following day because police arrested and accused you of drunk driving.

In any other circumstance, considering how drunk you were, a drunk driving arrest would make sense. However, in this case, you never got behind the wheel after drinking — not even for a second. Here’s how your story went down:

  1. After your fifth drink, you realized you were far too drunk to get yourself home, so you talked to a sober friend — the designated driver for the night — who agreed to take you home in your car.
  2. On the drive home, your sober friend accidentally got into a minor accident with the neighbor’s mailbox. It was his fault, and he readily admitted it, but as the two of you were out of the car inspecting the damage to the mailbox, a police officer showed up.
  3. Since you were both out of the car — and since the car belonged to you — the officers wrongly assumed that you must have been driving. Your state of extreme drunkenness led to your immediate arrest.

In many cases, people who experience a false drunk driving arrest can use witnesses — such as the actual driver of the car — to help them clarify their situation with the court. If something like this has happened to you, understand your criminal defense options and protect your legal rights.


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