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Driver Gets DUI in McDonald’s Drive-Thru

Early in the morning on Wednesday, December 14th, Rock Hill police officers in South Carolina charged a man with DUI after he ran into another vehicle in a McDonald’s drive-thru. The driver, Derek Wylie, had a blood-alcohol level of .21 (super extreme DUI in Arizona).

According to the report, the driver told police he drank three beers at home and then drove to McDonald’s because he was hungry.

Surprisingly, it is not uncommon for law enforcement officials to be called to drive-thrus at fast food restaurants to investigate suspected DUIs.  There was a similar incident at a Wendy’s in Summerville, South Carolina this past May. A driver was found passed out in his car between the order box and the pick-up window.  In these situations, the fast food employees notice the sleeping driver and call law enforcement for assistance.

Drivers who find themselves in these situations may have some defenses. If the driver leaves the drive thru before the police arrive, the police will have the burden of proving that the person that the employee saw at the drive thru is the same person who is charged with the DUI. Eyewitness testimony is generally unreliable, and it will be harder for an employee to identify the driver if their view was not clear because of the vehicle’s windshield or poor resolution on the restaurant’s video camera.

Additionally, a driver must be driving or in physical control of their vehicle to get a DUI in Arizona. In these situations, the prosecution will have the burden of proving that the unconscious person was capable of driving or being in control of the vehicle. The prosecution will have a strong argument that the driver was in control of the vehicle if it was turned on when the police encountered the person because turning a vehicle on shows that the driver intended to be in control of the vehicle until the ignition was disengaged.

If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an attorney for DUI at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. for assistance with your DUI case.

Photo credit: bradleygee from Flickr