Smart & Aggressive
attorneys defending you.
click for a free consultation

Can You Get a DUI on Private Property?

Posted on August 18, 2021 in DUI

Whether you can get a driving under the influence (DUI) charge while driving drunk on your own property or someone else’s privately owned property depends on the circumstances and the laws that apply in your state. In Arizona, the state’s DUI laws do not change whether a driver is operating under the influence on public or private property. This means it is possible to get a DUI on private property in Arizona. In other states, however, the rules may differ.

Arizona’s DUI Laws on Private Property

It is illegal in all 50 states to operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway or highway. Like most states, Arizona sets the limit for driving under the influence at a blood alcohol content (BAC) level at or above 0.08 percent. Even if a driver is less impaired, however, Arizona law still allows for a DUI arrest if the driver is intoxicated enough to affect his or her ability to operate the motor vehicle.

Arizona’s DUI laws do not change if the driver is operating a motor vehicle on private property instead of a public road. Unlike some states, Arizona has a universal driving under the influence law. Section 28-1381 states that it is unlawful to be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. It does not differentiate between public and private property. No matter where you were driving, even on private property that is not accessible to the public, it is possible to be charged with driving under the influence or driving while impaired (DWI) in Arizona.

Note, however, that the police officer conducting the DUI stop must have probable cause to pull you over on private property, such as a complaint from a neighbor or the officer personally witnessing potential drunk driving behaviors. Only with probable cause is it legal for an officer to pull you over and make an arrest for an alleged DUI on private or public property. If you believe that an officer did not have probable cause to make a stop on private property, consult with a Tempe DUI attorney.

Types of Private Property Where You Could Get a DUI in Arizona

Operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol on any type of public or private property in Arizona could put you at risk of a DUI charge. This includes operating a car, truck, motorcycle, motorized bicycle, golf cart, moped or ATV while under the influence. Private properties where you could be arrested for an alleged DUI in Arizona include:

  • A business’s parking lot, including a bar or restaurant
  • A parking garage
  • Private roads or land
  • A private driveway
  • Your own driveway
  • A gated community
  • A golf course

Whether or not your actions fulfill the definition of driving under the influence in Arizona depends on the circumstances. For example, you could receive a DUI for being in actual physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated even if the vehicle was parked and not running.

What to Do if You’re Facing a DUI on Private Property

Never admit to driving under the influence during a traffic stop. Comply with the officer’s requests, but politely explain that you will not be answering any questions without a lawyer present. If you are arrested, call a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible from the police station. It is important to consult with a lawyer about your rights and options after an arrest on private property.

If you are facing DUI charges from driving on private property, an attorney in Scottsdale can take immediate steps to protect your rights, such as communicating with police officers and the prosecutor on your behalf, collecting relevant evidence, hiring experts, and building your defense. A lawyer may be able to reduce the charges against you, protect you from the most serious potential penalties or even have the DUI charges dismissed.

Contact Us


  • All fields required *
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.