Enriquez v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
Defendant Jean Enriquez was found in a drunken condition in a parked motor vehicle with the keys in the ignition switch. Defendant was subsequently convicted of driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The court of appeals affirmed the conviction. Defendant appealed, contending that the evidence was insufficient to convict him as a matter of law of the conviction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) when an intoxicated person is seated behind the steering wheel of a motor vehicle on a public highway and the key is in the ignition switch, he is in actual physical control of the vehicle and, therefore, is guilty of operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol within the meaning of Va. Code Ann. 18.2-266; and (2) the evidence was sufficient to support a finding that Defendant was in actual physical control of the vehicle and to support his conviction for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.