Sometimes we get tired when driving in Michigan. If you get tired and need to pull over can you legally sleep in your car in Michigan? What about sleeping it off after a night at the bar?

Is it legal to sleep in your car in Michigan?

FNQ says that while there is no federal law prohibiting it, there are local laws that you need to check into before doing it. Be smart and check with local jurisdictions to make sure you won't get a fine. If you mind your business and stay out of trouble you probably won't have any issues. Some Wal Marts will allow you to sleep in their parking lots. Check with the local store for clarification.

Friends at a Christmas party making a toast at the bar

I had a blast at the bar, I need to sleep it off, can I do it in my car in Michigan?

Best thing you can do if you have had too much to drink during a night out is call a ride. Sometimes Michigan residents like to "sleep it off" in their car. What potential issues can I run into?

Drunk and unconscious businessman lying on a counter
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What happens if you're intoxicated and "sleep it off" in your car in Michigan?

According to Michigan law, it is entirely possible to be arrested for drunk driving when you were only sleeping it off in your car. This is because the law says that if you were physically in charge of your car at the time, even if you weren’t actually driving, you are still a risk for drunk driving. In other words, a person who is asleep in the backseat of their parked car, with the car keys in their pocket, is probably not in control of their vehicle. On the other hand, a person who is asleep behind the wheel of their car, with the keys in the ignition, is far more likely to be considered ‘in control’ of their car.

How can you "sleep it off" and not get into trouble in Michigan?

If you are trying to be responsible so you don't harm yourself or others because you've had too much to drink, that's a good thing. Climbing into the car to get a few hours of shut eye is a good idea. Where should you sleep in the car? This is where it gets technical.

When sleeping it off in Michigan, pay attention to the folowing, and it will help you stay out of trouble.

  • Your car is in park and not running.
  • Your car is in a safe location where it can remain immobile for potentially hours without obstructing traffic or causing an accident.
  • The keys are not in the ignition (keep them in your pocket, or in the glovebox)
  • You are not in the driver’s seat.

Taking the step to stay off the roads is the smart and right choice. Sleeping it off in your car can be risky in Michigan, keep it simple and call a ride.

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