While it's assumed that a driver must be behind the wheel to be charged with a DWI, that's not always the case. In Texas, officers can arrest someone on suspicion of a DWI if they are not in their vehicle or not driving.
Examples of Non-Driving DWIs in Texas
Non-driving DWIs refer to being in control of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol but not necessarily driving it. A person doesn't have to drive a car to be charged with DWI; they merely have to be physically capable of operating a vehicle while impaired.
The most common example of a non-driving DWI is when someone is questioned by a law enforcement officer and is found to be intoxicated even though they are sitting stationary in the driver's seat. In this case, the officer can take possession of the driver's license (or suspend it if necessary) before citing them for DWI if there is evidence that they intended to drive or had been driving earlier that night. It's important to note that if a driver is found asleep behind the wheel, with keys in hand and/or engine running, they can still be arrested for DWI even though they weren't actively driving at that moment.
Two other examples of non-driving DWIs include:
- When someone is caught drinking and driving after parking their car or found unconscious behind the wheel after driving earlier that night;
- Taking illegal drugs while parked on public property; or,
- Operating a motorized scooter while impaired.
Were You Charged with a Non-Driving DWI?
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jed Silverman are experienced, respected, and work tirelessly to protect the rights of Texas residents charged with a non-driving DWI. Our Texas DWI lawyers are passionate about ensuring that each case is investigated thoroughly and will work diligently to build a strong defense strategy. We understand the significant consequences of conviction and will fight to protect your rights and freedoms. Our attorneys are determined to obtain the best possible outcome for each case, so contact us today if you have been charged with a non-driving DWI in Texas. (713) 597-2221