Can Passengers Face Charges During a DUI?

After a night out, a group of friends is pulled over by an officer because the driver was swerving. It doesn’t take long for the cop to test and arrest the driver for driving under the influence (DUI), but the passengers are safe from criminal prosecution because they weren’t driving, right?

Are Passengers Off the Hook During DUI Arrests?

In short, the answer is no. If a vehicle is pulled over, the police can investigate each person in the car for criminal charges. While each passenger has a right to deny searches and plead the fifth, they can still be arrested for illegal activity.

As driving under the influence requires direct control of a vehicle, it’s unlikely passengers will face DUI charges.

However, passengers can face other charges such as:

  • Open container charges: Possessing an open container of alcohol in a vehicle is illegal.
  • Underage drinking: Minors in the vehicle can be charged for underage drinking if cops have reasonable suspicion to believe they are intoxicated.
  • Public intoxication: Being intoxicated to the point that someone cannot exercise care for his or her safety or the safety of others.

As you can see, there are several charges that passengers can face during a DUI arrest. Therefore, you should never assume you will get off scot-free as a passenger during a DUI arrest.

Have You Been Charged with a Crime?

If you or a loved one is accused of DUI or another criminal act, Newman & Allen can help. Our award-winning criminal defense has helped hundreds of clients defend their rights, and you could be next!

Call (909) 328-6101 now for a free consultation for your criminal case!

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