The Law Office of Stephen Handy: Fort Worth Criminal & DWI Lawyer

Here’s the scenario. You decide if it’s a DWI or a smart choice.

Someone has had too much to drink at a restaurant, bar, or friends house.  It is time to leave and they go to the car.  Upon getting in the car, they have a burst of common sense and decide they should not be driving home.  Even though this is a major inconvenience, they want to do the right thing.  Now what?

They can choose to call someone to come get them and leave the car parked on the side of the street all night or they can just take a nap, sober up, and drive home early in the morning.  They choose to lay the seat back and take a nap.  It’s a hot Texas summer, so they start the car to run the air conditioning.

An hour or so later, an officer taps on the window of the car and they explain to the officer that they are just taking a nap.  The officer smells alcohol on their breath and subsequently arrests them for DWI.

DWI sign

You don’t have to actually be driving

Is this a DWI or did they make the smart choice?

Well, if you said they made the right choice to stay put and sleep it off, I would agree.  However, they were actually charged with a DWI.  I know it’s hard to believe, but in Texas, even though we call it “Driving While Intoxicated” it is actually “operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated”.  The car doesn’t actually have to be moving in order for you to be charged with a DWI in Texas.

Our government displays signs all over the state that say, “Drink. Drive. Go to Jail”.  We hear “don’t drink and drive”.  It’s no wonder that people are surprised and confused when they hear of situations like this.

This is a summary of a recent case I handled, and it wasn’t the first I have had with very similar circumstances.  In an effort to do the “right” thing, they got arrested.  They weren’t endangering others and they were still penalized.

This is why I love what I do.  Sometimes I am defending our constitutional rights.  Sometimes I am defending common sense.   This person should be commended for doing the right thing, not punished.  It is my job as their attorney to convince a jury that they are not operating a motor vehicle; they are operating an air conditioner.

So what should you do if you are in this situation?  First, sit on the passenger’s side or in the back seat, not the driver’s side.  Secondly, do not put the keys in the ignition.  The car should never be turned on.

Fort Worth Criminal & DWI Lawyer Stephen Handy represents those who are being charged or arrested for DWI in Fort Worth and surrounding cities.  He has over 15 years of criminal defense and DWI defense experience and is dedicated to providing the best criminal defense possible to each and every client.

If you have been arrested or charged with any criminal offense, call Stephen Handy at 817-589-2134 or 817-284-2262 as soon as possible to discuss your case.