Can I be convicted of a DUI on private property?
Posted by Ben Sessions | | DUI / DWI
One of the questions that I’m commonly asked is where it is you can be charged for DUI here in the State of Georgia, that is can you be charged with a DUI when you’re on your own private property. The answer to that is yes you can be charged with a DUI despite the fact that you’re on private property. In fact, if you’re on an island in the middle of the lake you were operating a motor vehicle here in the State of George, within the territorial confines of the State of Georgia, you can be charged with a DUI. That does not mean you will be convicted of a DUI, but yes you can be charged. The one caveat that I would point out, in an issue that needs to be litigated, is that for people that are charged in Federal Court under the assimilated crimes act, a challenge needs to be raised as to whether or not the Georgia rules are read, and Georgia DUI statute, that can be prosecuted that’s on property that is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States. That’s one caveat that I want to point out to you.
Another question that people commonly asked me is do I have to actually be driving a motor vehicle at the time that an officer charges me with DUI? Or initiates an investigation for DUI? The answer for that is no, you do not need to actually be driving, however they do need to establish that in fact you were driving while you were in a condition of being impaired or above the legal limit. Obviously, you may have just recently had driven or that person could look at certain circumstances involved in the case and say that you had recently driven a motor vehicle. And that might be a basis to substantiated DUI charge and possibly a conviction. That’s through what’s called circumstantial evidence, which is just inferences that a judge or juror might draw from for the particular facts of your case. So, that will be decided on a case by case basis whether or not the State can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you drove while you were in a condition of being impaired by alcohol or drugs, or in a condition of having alcohol concentration greater than o.o8 grams.