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Lubbock and Texas Tech police are on the lookout for anyone they believe may be driving while intoxicated. Lubbock DWI enforcement can be extremely aggressive, and individuals may find themselves arrested at a simple traffic stop or even while sleeping in the vehicle. Fortunately, the accused may be able to raise a strong defense with help from a dedicated DWI attorney.
Do Local Police Patrol Near Bars and Restaurants?
Local police absolutely patrol or wait near popular bars and restaurants and look for individuals who may be driving under the influence. The Lubbock Police Department may be running a dedicated DWI squad, regular night-time patrol may initiate a traffic stop, or officers may sit in parking lots near popular establishments.
For example, there is a local country and western bar that is a popular place for Lubbock residents to drink. Right across the street is a home improvement store, and police officers sit in that parking lot and wait for people to leave the bar. As soon as the driver violates even a minor traffic rule, police make a traffic stop and investigate the person for DWI.
The same thing happens often in the depot district and in the areas near Broadway and University. There are a lot of bars nearby, and both the Texas Tech Police Department and Lubbock Police Department regularly patrol this area. At an intersection on 15th street, there is a No U-turn sign, which is one of only a few in the entire City of Lubbock. Police sit exactly at this intersection, wait for someone to make an illegal U-turn, and stop them to begin a DWI investigation.
DWI Arrests in Parking Lots
In the state of Texas, the key to DWI is operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated in a public place. Public places include more than just the roads. Someone could be arrested for DWI anywhere a substantial amount of the public has access to. For example, someone could be arrested for DWI in a retail parking lot or at a dorm parking lot at Texas Tech University. This could happen even if the vehicle is not in motion.
These arrests are less frequent as DWI traffic stops, but experienced attorneys do see a few of these cases every year. For example, a person may drive to the bar, become intoxicated, and decide to sleep in their car instead of attempt to drive home. The police may show up for a welfare check and arrest the individual. Whether or not the arrest is for DWI often depends on how close the vehicle is to driving. If the person is in the back seat, the keys are on the floor, and the engine is off, police may opt to charge the person with public intoxication.
However, there could be a situation in which the individual has the engine running for warmth in the winter. Even though the vehicle is in park and the emergency brake is engaged, law enforcement may arrest the person for DWI. Whether or not this behavior constitutes operating a motor vehicle often comes down to the opinion of the jury.
Contact a Dedicated DWI Attorney
If you were arrested for DWI after leaving a bar or while sleeping in your vehicle, you should not give up hope. Lubbock law enforcement is strict, but there may be strong defenses available in your case. To learn more about your legal options, contact an attorney today.