Can I get DUI as a passenger

Can I get DUI as a passenger

Question: I was pulled over for DUI after leaving a bar in Studio City with my husband. I was told that I was speeding. The officer went to the passenger side and asked my husband if he would consent to a field sobriety test. He said no. the officer asked why? and he said “because I am not driving”. The officer than placed my husband under arrest for DUI. I was asked to take a field sobriety test and passed. I wasn’t given a speeding ticket, citation or even a verbal warning. He now has a Van Nuys DUI case. Can this be right?
Answer:  That is a very odd and unusual situation.  To clarify, the officer pulled you over for speeding, you pulled over, the officer went to the passenger side window…at any time, did the officer state anything about you and your husband switching seats after the stop was made?  Was there any reason for the officer to suspect that you guys switched seats after the car was pulled over?
In short, the state must prove driving to convict someone of a DUI. The officer may claim he saw you switch seats.  If the officer is not alleging that, I really can’t figure out why he would arrest your husband for DUI, unless he is really uneducated as to lawful DUI arrests.
Call me to discuss further at (818) 336-1384.  I would be more than happy to discuss the case further, as well as potential defenses and what else to expect in the criminal case as well as the DMV matter.  Note that a DMV hearing has to be requested within 10 days of the arrest, so the sooner you contact me the better.
Sounds like a great case to defend from what you wrote!
Phil Hache
Criminal & DUI Defense Attorney