What Does Actual Physical Control Mean in My Brighton DUI Case?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances is a serious offense—it endangers not only your own life, but the lives of anyone else on the road. If you’ve been drinking, you may think you’re doing the responsible thing in terms of both safety and legality to avoid driving your car and waiting inside it until you are sober. However, in Colorado, you could still find yourself facing DUI charges under certain circumstances.

Defining actual physical control (APC)

According to Colorado law, you can be arrested and convicted of DUI if you are determined to have actual physical control (APC) of your vehicle, meaning that you have the ability to put the vehicle in motion (even if it is not actually in motion at the time of the arrest).

For example, if you are inside your parked car, sitting in the driver’s seat, and the keys are in the ignition with the radio on, you would likely be considered to be in actual physical control of the vehicle. On the other hand, if you are asleep in the back seat, the car is not on, and you don’t have the keys on your person, it would be unlikely that you could legally be considered to have APC.

Of course, it’s also important to remember that in addition to having actual physical control of your vehicle, to be charged with DUI you must also have a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of .08 percent.

Legal defense if you are facing charges based on APC

If you were arrested for a DUI in Colorado despite not actually driving at the time, your Brighton DUI attorney may be able to challenge the charge on the basis of APC depending on key factors including the following:

    • Where in the vehicle you were situated
    • Whether the keys were on your person/within your reach or in the ignition
    • Whether or not the car was on or the engine was running
    • The location of your stopped or parked vehicle
    • Whether or not your vehicle was capable of moving (and if it was involved in some sort of accident or collision that rendered it inoperable)

Consult an experienced DUI defense attorney in Colorado

At the Law Office of John A. Anderson, Jr., LLC, we’ll provide reliable legal support to fight your DUI charge. Serving clients in Brighton, Commerce City, Thornton, and throughout Colorado, we understand how to help you obtain the best possible outcome to your case.

To learn more about how we can help, contact us online or call (303) 880-7994 to schedule a consultation. We look forward to speaking with you