You can be arrested for DUI while sleeping in your car on the shoulder of the road. A law enforcement officer usually will do a “welfare” check on people pulled over on the shoulder to see if they need help or are having any problems. If you pull over because you feel intoxicated and unsafe to drive, it is the safe thing to do but you still may be arrested. An officer, if he smells alcohol when he contacts you will run you through the DUI field sobriety tests and field breath test. Based on his observations, your responses, and field sobriety tests, he may arrest you for DUI if he feels you were under the influence when you were driving and pulled over.
Many times the officer will feel the hood of the car to see if it is warm to know if the driving was recent. He will also check to see if there are alcohol containers in the vehicle. Clearly if you could have drank after you pulled over, then there is a problem being able to prove your impairment or alcohol level at the time of driving. Most of the time people tell the officer that they had nothing to drink since they pulled over, and they make additional statements which can make the DUI proveable. They have to be able to refer the blood alcohol level back to time of driving and that can be one of the biggest issues.
There often can be issues with arrests of people pulled over on the shoulder. It is best to have a designated driver or make other arrangements if you have been drinking. Christoph Law Offices have handled over 3000 DUI cases in over 30 years being across from Vista Courts and have the expertise and experience to know what to look for and how to help you get the best resolution in your case. Call for a free consultation 760-941-5720.