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I Was Charged With DUI But Not Driving?

In Kentucky there are a number of factors that the court will consider to determine if a defendant was "operating" a vehicle. A person can be convicted of DUI if they were operating or in physical control of the vehicle. The case of McCreary v. Commonwealth, 2007-CA-94 reaffirmed the decision in Blades v. Commonwealth, 957 S.W.2d 246 (Ky. 1997) and Wells v. Commonwealth, 709 S.W.2d 847 (Ky.App. 1986), which set out several factors a trial court should consider in making that determination: The court should consider all of the following when determining operation or physical control: (1) whether or not the person in the vehicle was asleep or awake; (2) whether or not the motor was running; (3) the location of the vehicle and all of the circumstances bearing on how the vehicle arrived at that location; and (4) the intent of the person behind the wheel. Another major factor in the cases where the Court of Appeals overturned convictions was the presence of alcohol in the vehicle and the time the vehicle was occupied but not in operation. In those cases where the conviction was overturned, the Defendant generally had alcohol on his person so that a jury could not infer that he had consumed the alcohol prior to driving. There may even be an inference, and often was testimony, that the alcohol was consumed after stopping the vehicle. The Court of Appeals did not overturn convictions in cases of accidents and other stops which were made close in time to operation and where there was no alcohol found in the vehicle. As evidenced by the cases, the facts of each specific case are very important to the ultimate decision. The Court of Appeals in Blades overturned a previous decision; the new decision allows a jury to make reasonable inferences regarding the timing of operation and the timing of drinking/intoxication. If you have been charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence, or commonly DUI, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand your rights and potential defenses to the charges. In Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or call 581-MIKE (859-581-6453) for consultation.

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