D. Scott Rieth Criminal Defense Attorney
941-404-4192 888-352-3179

Can police officers arrest you for DUI on private property?

If you are wondering if law enforcement can arrest you for DUI when you are in a shopping center, at a gas pump or in the parking lot of a restaurant, the short answer is yes. 

A law enforcement officer can arrest you for driving under the influence even if you are on private property. Your best course of action is never to drink and drive, but if you have never faced a DUI charge before, you might feel you can do as you wish and still escape the law. Even if you make it home after enjoying a few drinks at a party, you may see those dreaded flashing lights behind you when you pull into your driveway.

Running for cover

The flashing lights belong to the policeman's squad car. The officer may have followed you home because he saw you cruise through a stop sign or noticed you were having trouble staying in your lane. You may feel that once you are in your own driveway, you will be safe from a charge of DUI. However, if the officer suspects that your erratic driving was the result of intoxication, he can charge you with DUI no matter where you are. Be aware that if you attempt to drive away in order to avoid confrontation and end up leading the police on a car chase, the DUI with which the officer might have charged you can turn into a felony conviction, which may lead to imprisonment.

Business owners protect patrons

Another way that law enforcement can charge you with DUI while on private property is when the owner of the property calls them because you insist on getting behind the wheel in your drunken state and are putting other customers at risk. Examples of public areas where police can arrest you include the parking lots of country clubs and golf courses, nightclubs, stadiums, or convenience stores, among others.

Lesson learned

If a police officer arrests you for driving under the influence, there will be penalties to face and you will realize that you need legal help. You never again want to see flashing lights behind you when you pull into your driveway, and hopefully you will eventually see the whole DUI experience as a good lesson learned.


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D. Scott Rieth
9040 Town Center Parkway, Suite 103A
Bradenton, FL 34202

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Phone: 941-404-4192
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