For someone to be charged with driving while intoxicated, they must have been operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. Texas law does not define operating a vehicle, it is up to the jury to determine. Some juries will decide that if a person is asleep in a parking lot and the car is on then they are operating the car. Defining driving in Denton DWI cases can be tricky, which is why it is important for you to have a seasoned DUI lawyer by your side if you have been arrested.
DWI Cases Where it is Unclear Who the Driver of the Vehicle is
If it is not clear who was driving the vehicle and the officer is set on arresting someone, then they will arrest the person they believe was most likely to have been driving. There are circumstances when it is difficult for the officer to know who was driving. For example, a car with three people in it is involved in a wreck and by the time the officer gets to the scene, all three people are outside of the vehicle and arguing about who was driving. This turns into a he said, she said situation. The officer is not going to charge all three people for driving while drunk, they instead must figure out who was actually operating the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Being Arrested for DWIs in Places Other than the Road
A person can be arrested for a DWI anywhere that is open to the public. This includes gas stations and parking lots. If it is an area that the public has access to, then the person can be arrested there. Even if the individual lives in a gated neighborhood, it is still essentially open to the public and they can be charged with a DWI. Many people assume that if they are in their driveway, they will not be charged with a DWI, but that is not the case as a driveway is still considered a public roadway. However, defining driving in Denton DWI cases could be difficult in situations involving driveways. A dedicated defense attorney could answer further questions about where an arrest could take place.
Law Enforcement Patroling around Bars
Officers are going to patrol anywhere they think they might be able to find someone breaking the law. It is the police’s discretion on where they want to patrol. This means they may be waiting outside a bar at two o’clock in the morning to try and caught someone they believe is going to operate a car while intoxicated. This is a very common practice by officers.
How the Prosecution Proves Driving in Denton
In order to convict someone of DWI, the prosecutors must prove the person was driving. To do this, they may look for video of the person driving on a dash cam, ask witnesses, or have the alleged offender admit to driving. There is not much a defendant can do to contest it. Defining driving in Denton DWI cases often occurs on a case by case basis. This is why it is essential that you have a well-versed lawyer on your side who will stand by your side and build a viable defense.