Arrest of college football star demonstrates that you can get a DUI even when not driving

People are often surprised to discover that you can get charged with a DUI even if you are not driving.  A good example was recently demonstrated by the arrest of Alabama star defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand, who was found by police sleeping in his vehicle.

From the Sporting News:

Alabama defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand was reportedly not driving his vehicle at the time of his DUI arrest on Saturday, according to a report from The Tuscaloosa News. He was asleep behind the wheel in his car, which was parked.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the officer who arrested Hand found him at 4:30 a.m. in a parking lot near campus. Hand was sitting in the driver’s seat with the car’s headlights turned on and his vehicle cranked. The fact that his keys were in the ignition is what prompted his arrest.

In Illinois, the DUI statute (625 ILCS 5/11-501) states that “A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while…”  [under the influence of alcohol, drugs, etc.].

The Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction (I.P.I. 23.43) explaining “actual physical control” states as follows:  “The phrase “actual physical control” means that the defendant was in the vehicle and in a position to exercise control over the vehicle by starting the engine and causing the vehicle to move.”  Actual movement, or even having the ignition turned on, are not required; just the ability to do so.

This means that if you get into your car while intoxicated, but decide that instead of driving home that you will just stay put and try to sleep it off, you are in danger of being arrested for a DUI.

I have never agreed with this law.  What do you think?

UNLV Basketball coach Tim Chambers arrested for DUI

From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

By Wesley Juhl and Mark Anderson

UNLV head baseball coach Tim Chambers was arrested in connection with driving under the influence Tuesday.

Chambers, 50, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on one cnotount of DUI, having no proof of insurance and two counts of failure to maintain lanes. He is being held on $5,000 cash bail and is scheduled in court for a 48-hour hearing Thursday morning.

“We are aware that Tim Chambers was arrested earlier today in Las Vegas,” UNLV Athletics Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy said in a statement. “He has been immediately put on administrative leave. We are in the process of gathering all of the facts and at this time have no further comment.”

The athletics department announced in July that Chambers was going on indefinite medical leave to have surgery for back injuries. Associate head coach Stan Stolte was to serve as the acting head coach in Chambers’ absence.

Chambers has been the Rebels’ coach for five years, but he missed most of last season because of his back issues. UNLV went 25-31 just one season removed from an NCAA regional appearance. Chambers was optimistic about this upcoming season, largely because of a promising recruiting class and the return of nearly the entire pitching staff.

In May, the athletic department announced the beginning of construction of a two-story, $2.75 million clubhouse, which is nearing completion. The building is seen as a boon to the program’s recruiting efforts.

Chambers has four years remaining on a contract that pays him $110,000 annually.