There are many ways to defend against a DUI or DWI arrest. Many times, those who have been arrested for driving while under the influence believe they are free and clear because they weren’t on a public roadway. In most cases, however, law enforcement has the right to arrest individuals under suspicion of DUI or DWI even if they are operating a vehicle on private property.
Although laws vary from state to state, most states do not distinguish between private property and public areas where drunk or impaired driving offenses are concerned. Police officers are still permitted to stop, question and test a person’s ability to drive even if he or she is operating a vehicle on private property.
When someone is stopped and arrested for DUI or DWI while on private property, they often assume that they have a valid defense. In some states, that may be true. In general, however, the law does not care whether the offense occurred on a public road or on private property. Examples of places where DUI arrests may still legally occur include bar or nightclub parking lots, golf courses, private driveways, convenience store parking lots, stadium parking lots and private roads.
It is technically possible to be arrested for DUI or DWI while parked on private property. A case in point is Edmonds v. Ostby, in which the defendant was ultimately convicted of DUI despite being parked on private property. However, the court may consider many factors before deciding to convict, including whether the car was running and whether the keys were in the ignition.
If you have been arrested for DUI or DWI while on private property, an experienced lawyer may be able to help you build a strong defense. Contact a lawyer to learn more about your options.