Car Parking Tips · August 11, 2022

Can You Drink In A Parked Car? More Facts To Know

Many people are fully aware of the risks and dangers associated with drinking and driving. Did you know that you can drink in a parked car?

Alcohol consumption in a non-running vehicle is permitted legally. You should be aware, though, that police officer may believe you were previously driving while intoxicated in this circumstance. 

The Law explains why it is not acceptable to consume alcohol while driving and how doing so could result in serious legal repercussions if you are caught, particularly if it is not your first offense.

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Drinking In A Parked Car Can Be Risky

Drinking alcohol can have a significant impact on the body, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just hanging out with friends at a bar. Alcohol has been found to significantly reduce concentration, impede reflexes, and encourage reckless behavior, despite frequently evoking a happy or relaxed response in many people. Naturally, it is never a good idea to drive drunk for both the driver’s safety and the safety of other road users. Because they are aware of the risk, many Canadians opt to take an alternate route home, such as calling a friend or taxi to pick them up, rather than driving their cars. 

On the other hand, if someone is acting morally, they might think it’s a good idea to get some rest in their car. This could be a very serious error. Even if your car is parked and the police find you intoxicated, you could still be charged with impaired driving.

Impaired Driving

Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol is known to affect or change a person’s behavior normally. Examples of such substances include alcohol, cannabis, and drugs.

The police have the right to test you if they believe you to be intoxicated while you are in a parked car. If you act strangely, are clearly drinking alcohol, or have open alcohol in your car, they might assume you’re intoxicated. 

It’s crucial that you submit to their testing. If you decide not to, you will be found guilty, which can seriously undermine your defense and, in some circumstances, result in automatic penalties. 

The Laws Regarding Drinking In A Parked Car

In California, it is not technically illegal to consume alcohol while sitting in a car as long as you are not the driver and the vehicle is not in motion. Driving while intoxicated is prohibited, though. In some circumstances, even if a police officer does not observe you operating the vehicle, you could still be charged with driving while intoxicated (DUI).

A police officer might assert that they have solid evidence that you committed a DUI. If police find you drinking and sitting in a car, they might check to see if your keys are in the ignition. They might feel your car’s hood to see if it’s still warm.

This implies that even while drinking alcohol while driving, you could still be charged with DUI. Before making a DUI arrest, however, police officers might want to check your blood alcohol content (BAC).

Can You Drink In A Parked Car?

According to the state or territory you’re in, and occasionally the council area, the answer is yes and no. In some Australian states, it is against the law to drive while intoxicated, and people have been charged with driving under the influence while recovering from a wild night out in their car.

Even in a car that is off the road, parked to the side of the road, or in a parking lot, drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited in Western Australia and Queensland. According to the Liquor Control Act (1988), it is actually prohibited to consume alcohol in public places, including automobiles, in Western Australia. This was implemented to address a problem that Western Australian politicians and the police discovered with “street drinking,” or drinking in public places.

Queensland is one state where contentious legislation allowing for the possibility of being charged with drunk driving even if you are not in the vehicle has been passed. People who were found guilty of drunk driving while sleeping in the back seat have had cases before Queensland courts.

The problem is that even though they didn’t intend to be in charge of the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, they could still be charged with drunk driving because they had the keys to the car on them or within easy reach in the vehicle, which satisfies the law’s definition of being “in charge.”

To avoid any problems with being found to be “in charge” of your vehicle, legal experts from Queensland advise giving the keys to someone else and not getting inside the car, even if you are just waiting for someone to pick you up.

Confoundingly, there are separate laws for local councils and for roads regarding drinking alcohol while parked. According to council zoning, drinking alcohol in any form is prohibited in many Australian locations that are designated as alcohol-free zones.

Therefore, even though it is not strictly forbidden to drink in a parked car in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, or other Australian states, you should still double-check that you are not in an area that prohibits the consumption of alcohol.

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