Tulsa Attorney BlogWhat Is Actual Physical Control in Oklahoma?

Not Driving, but Still at Risk

Tulsa DUI attorneyVideo Transcript: What is actual physical control? My name is Brian L. Jackson. I’m an attorney in Tulsa with Wirth Law Office, and we’re going to talk about the crime of actual physical control.

Now, what that is in a nutshell. If you are in physical control of a motor vehicle and you are intoxicated, either because you’re drunk and you’re over a certain BAC, or because you’ve taken other intoxicating substances, like for example marijuana, then that is actually a crime. Now the idea of this is to prove DUI, the state has to prove you were actually driving.

So what happens, let’s say, that you’ve been out at the bar for a while. You’ve had some drinks. You get in your car and you go and recline the seat back and fall asleep, and the cops find you like that. Can they charge you? Yes they can, because you are in actual physical control of that vehicle. If you have the keys, you could have driven it. So that’s what that crime is really meant to address.

A couple of things to know about that. As I said, they don’t have to prove you were driving. They do have to prove that you were able to drive it, that would be like you had the keys or something. Although if the keys are in the vehicle with you, you’re probably in trouble, even if you were in the backseat. Or I’ve heard some people say, “Well, I’ll throw the keys in the backseat.” That you could still potentially get arrested.

Now you may be able to beat it at trial, you may not, but you’re probably getting arrested under those circumstances. It doesn’t have to be alcohol. Weed would do it. If you’re stoned and you look stoned, or the car smells like pot and the cops test you, if you have any detectable amount of weed in your body, you could be charged with APC. A prescription drugs, if you’re taking painkillers or sedatives like Valium or anything like that, you could be DUI or APC if you were in the car, even if you weren’t driving. So that’s kind of how that works.

And if you have questions about that or you’re facing an APC charge, you need good counsel. And one place you can find a good DUI lawyer in Oklahoma is at makelaweasy.com.

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