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Can I sleep it off in my car in Tennessee to avoid a DUI?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Criminal Cases & DUI

When it comes to DUI laws in Tennessee, clarity is key. You may think that you can just sleep it off in your car to avoid a DUI, but can you? Many wonder if sleeping in their car post-alcohol consumption can prevent a DUI charge. Let us delve into this issue in today’s blog post.

Legal insights

Our state’s DUI laws extend beyond just driving under the influence. Being in physical control of the vehicle is also considered an offense. Thus, merely being in the driver’s seat with access to the keys could lead to a DUI charge.

Understanding physical control

Determining physical control involves various factors. The location of the keys, the individual’s position in the vehicle and the proximity to a roadway all play a role. For example, if the keys are in the ignition or the car is parked by a road, it may imply physical control.

In Memphis, the same state laws apply. If found intoxicated in your car, you could face a DUI charge based on these criteria.

Prioritizing safety

Preventing a DUI charge is best achieved by refraining from driving or controlling a vehicle while intoxicated. Tennessee promotes campaigns like “Booze It & Lose It” to deter impaired driving. Though, they do not warn about “Booze’n and Snooze’n” could also lead to a DUI charge as well.


Sleeping in your car to avoid a DUI is not a foolproof solution and can still lead to legal repercussions. Familiarizing yourself with the laws and making responsible decisions are crucial for safety and avoiding DUI charges in Tennessee.