According to the Arizona DUI laws, the term, “actual physical control” refers to the person who was driving the car at the time it was pulled over by police or other authorities, but actual physical control goes a good deal deeper than just being the person behind the wheel of the motor vehicle — it is also determined based on a couple of other factors, the most important among these being whether the vehicle was running, whether the ignition was on, where the keys to the car were located at the time of the incident, and in what position the driver was found at the actual time of the incident.
All of the following factors of actual physical control can be used as a strong defense by your DUI attorney to help get your charges reduced or even dismissed completely.
Other Factors That Determine Actual Physical Control
What’s more, actual physical control also makes reference to a list of other factors, including:
- Whether the driver was awake or asleep
- Whether or not the vehicle’s headlights were on (or off)
- Whether or not the vehicle was stopped, be it legally parked or on the side of the road, or someplace else
- Whether or not the driver had successfully pulled over in a voluntary manner (to the side of the road)
- What the time of day was, and what impact this may have had on other factors listed above
- Whether or not the air conditioning or heater was on
- Whether the windows of the vehicle were up or down
- What the weather conditions were at the time of the incident
Finally, another important factor for the authorities who are making the determination of who is in actual physical control of the vehicle at the time of the incident will be the explanation of the above circumstances. These will be part of what would be discussed in a court of law if the case ever goes before an Arizona judge.
As is reported in advance of a court hearing, what is said by the person in actual physical control of the vehicle will be important, and authorities will notate it in preparation for court.
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