The DUI arrest of “That’s So Raven” star Orlando Brown raises issues about what actually constitutes driving in a drunk driving case. According to Brown’s manager, the 23-year-old actor was not actually driving at the time of his drunk driving arrest. TMZ has reported that the actor has admitted to drinking three glasses of wine in his home back on August 12, 2011. The actor said he then waited in his car outside his home to play his new CD for a friend. Officers saw that the vehicle did not have a license plate, stopped to speak with Brown, and arrested him for DUI. Brown is claiming that he was only sitting in the car and not driving.
The question here is: Do you even have to drive to be convicted of driving under the influence? The answer is: Not always. In 2007, a Minnesota man was convicted of driving under the influence after falling asleep in his vehicle while drunk. He clearly had not been driving as the engine was cold and the car was not able to start. An AOL report on the incident suggests that he may have faced unnecessarily harsh treatment because he had a prior DUI offense on his record. A separate AOL report cited cases in which a Florida man was arrested for a DUI while listening to loud music in his parked car, and also a North Carolina woman who fell asleep in a car that was parked at a fast food restaurant with the engine left running.
If the suspect had physical control of the vehicle while intoxicated, there is a chance that he or she may face DUI penalties. If the key is in the ignition, for example, that shows intent to drive. If the engine is running, that shows that the driver intended to operate the vehicle. These are some aspects officials may consider before making a DUI arrest in such cases.
The skilled Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan understand the very serious implications of DUI arrests. We understand the nuances of California DUI law and fight hard to protect our clients’ rights. If you or a loved one has been accused of drunk driving, please contact us at 866-430-8383 for a free and comprehensive consultation.