You may have thought driving home after getting drinks with friends was a good idea. By the time you got into your car, you realized you were too drunk to drive. The steering wheel looked more like a figure eight than a circle, so you stopped to consider your options. Suddenly, a cop comes up to your car and taps on your window.
You may not have been driving and might have been intending to call for a lift, but it can be hard for police officers to know that. Consequently, you can still get charged with drunk driving even though you were still parked. There are several factors officers look at when looking to see if someone was driving or intended to drive while impaired (DWI). Here’s what you should know:
Keys in the ignition can make your situation look worse
You may have only just realized you were too intoxicated after you sat in your car and put your keys in the ignition. While you were reflecting on your condition, a cop, however, may have seen the keys dangling and assumed you were going to drive.
Texas considers a person to have committed an offense when they operate a motor vehicle in a public space. Leaving your keys in the ignition can be seen, under the law, as operating a motor vehicle while impaired. Even sitting in the car while you wait on an Uber with your keys in your pocket still leaves you in control of the vehicle, and you have to “operate it” even when unlocking the door to get inside.
If you intend to go drinking then you might consider giving your keys to a friend to hold until you are sober. You might even consider having a designated driver for the night and leaving your car keys at home. The more ways you can prevent yourself from driving the safer you and everyone else will be.
DWIs can be a harsh hit to a person’s reputation and future. It can even cause people to lose their jobs and homes. Don’t let a DWI to harshly impact your life. Experienced legal guidance can help minimize the impact of a simple mistake.