Imagine that it is the last call at the bar, but you’re too drunk to drive home. You think about calling an Uber or Lyft, but you don’t want to leave your car parked on the street overnight in fear of getting a ticket or getting your vehicle broken into. 

So, you decide to take a nap in your car and wake up sober enough in two or three hours to drive home without risking a DWI. However, it may still be possible to get arrested for drunk driving if you sleep in your vehicle. 

In Texas, you can be charged with a DWI for “operating” a motor vehicle while intoxicated in public. The definition for “operating” is quite broad, so it could mean driving or even attempting to drive, which could be based on circumstantial evidence. 

The following are common examples of circumstantial evidence that would make the court believe you had been operating your car while drunk: 

  • You slept in the driver’s sleep 

  • Your keys were in the ignition or close to it 

  • The vehicle is on and running 

  • The tires were warm or there were fresh tire tracks on the road matching your car 

Keep in mind, the court must prove that you had the intention to drive while intoxicated. If you can take certain precautions (i.e. sleep in the backseat or store your keys in the glove compartment or trunk), you may be able to avoid being convicted of a DWI in Texas. 

Our legal team at Edgett Law Firm recommends that you avoid being in this situation. If you decide to drink while out at night, please plan in advance by asking a friend to be your designated driver or use rideshare services to get to the location and then back home. 

To learn more, call our criminal defense law firm at (972) 424-0760 or visit our contact us page to send us an email.