Not everyone who is arrested for a DUI is driving the vehicle – many times the driver is arrested for DUI. There are other times when the passenger is arrested for the DUI. And, quite surprisingly, sometimes both the driver and passenger are arrested for a DUI.
Some examples of the above are quite obvious and expected. For instance, the owner of a car is on the side of the road and is believed to be impaired. No one is in the vehicle. The police ask the owner who drove the vehicle and he responds that his friend, whose full name he cannot recall, was the driver. For some reason the friend is no longer with him. The owner does not have the keys to the car in his possession. The police officer decides not to investigate. Instead, he determines that the owner was the sole driver of the vehicle and arrests him for DUI. If the officer asked more questions or focused on the fact that the owner did not have the keys in his possession, the officer might have determined that the owner was not driving. However, the officer sometimes takes the easy way out and makes an arrest under these circumstances.
What do you think would happen if two men are impaired going home in the same vehicle. The owner is driving the car when it runs out of gas. He exits the car and begins to push it off of the roadway while his friend steers the vehicle. The police pull up while the owner is pushing the car and begins a DUI investigation. The owner explains the situation and notices the police immediately begin a DUI investigation. The officer then arrests the friend for driving the car because he was in the driver seat and maneuvering the car while being under the influence. The officer then arrests the owner based upon his admission that he was driving the car before it ran out of gas. Both people are arrested for a DUI.
What if similar to the above scenario, the owner is driving and realizes that he is not safe to drive. So, his passenger takes the wheel and realizes that he is also too impaired to drive. He pulls over and the owner decides to sleep in the back seat. The friend sleeps in the front seat. A police office shows up and the friend explains what happened. The officer then does a DUI investigation and arrests the friend. The officer can also arrest the owner for DUI based on the statement of the friend.
So, as you can see from the above situations it is possible to get a DUI even when you are not the one driving the vehicle.