Can I Get a DWI If I Wasn't Driving?
It might sound ridiculous at first, but yes, you can get a DWI if you weren’t driving or even behind the wheel. This makes it unfortunate that a lot of people erroneously believe it’s OK to sit or sleep in their cars to sober up because doing either can result in a DWI arrest.
Because of this, “driving while intoxicated” is a bit of a misnomer – that is, you don’t necessarily have to have been driving while intoxicated to get a DWI charge. Rather, the legal definition of “driving while intoxicated” in Texas is “… intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.”
‘Operating’ Is the Operative Term for a DWI Charge
For our purposes, the key word here is “operating” because of its broad implications. The courts have decided that “operating” a motor vehicle can mean that the “totality of circumstances” point toward a DWI suspect affecting the function of the vehicle that would enable its use.
In other words, being in the driver’s seat, wearing a seatbelt, running the engine for AC, or even listening to the radio can all be interpreted as operating your vehicle. If a police officer comes across you in apparent operation of your vehicle, they might suspect that you were driving while intoxicated or intending to do so – in either case, you can be arrested for DWI.
Contact Us for Help with Your DWI Charges
If you were charged with DWI, The Law Office of Rene A. Flores PLLC can help you fight your charges and strive toward the best possible outcome. With many years of experience in criminal defense, we understand the complexities involved in defending a DWI charge and are committed to ensuring that your rights are protected every step of the way.
Our attorney has handled countless DWI cases and is well-prepared to help you navigate the legal process in a cost-effective and efficient manner. We understand that a DWI charge can be stressful and intimidating, so we will strive to make your case as straightforward as possible while still providing comprehensive legal representation.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation, during which you can learn more about how we can help you.