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Houston DWI Lawyer > Blog > DWI > Sleeping In A Car And Texas DWIs

Sleeping In A Car And Texas DWIs


Texas has strict driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws, and you don’t have to be driving a vehicle in order to be charged with a DWI. When you are in a car, you can be arrested for a DWI if you are under the influence.

If you were arrested while sleeping off a night of drinking in your car, discuss your situation with a Houston DWI lawyer. There may be a path to beating the charges with an experienced legal professional on your side.

Assessing Actual Physical Control

In Texas, a DWI can happen when you’re intoxicated and in “actual physical control” of a vehicle. According to Texas law, “actual physical control” means having the “capability to operate” the vehicle. There are situations where it can be argued you are in control of the vehicle even if you’re not actually driving.

Because of actual physical control, if you’re found sleeping in your car while intoxicated and the keys are within reach, a Texas DWI can follow. And it doesn’t even matter if the car is running or not. If you have the ability to start the engine and move the vehicle, law enforcement can assert you were in actual physical control of the car or truck.

Texas courts will consider the following factors when it comes to physical control of a vehicle.

  • Was the person in the driver’s seat of the vehicle?
  • Were the keys in reach or in the ignition?
  • Did the vehicle move at any point?

Ultimately, if your case were to go to court, the totality of the circumstances will be assessed in order to determine your capability to operate the vehicle or not.

Exceptions and Beating a Texas DWI Charge

If you have received a DWI after you were discovered asleep in a vehicle, you may be able to dispute that you were in control of the vehicle connected to your Texas DWI charge. For example, if you were in the back seat and the keys to the vehicle were in the trunk, you may be able to prove you did not have physical control.

Whatever the situation, after a DWI arrest, talk to a skilled Houston DWI lawyer about next steps. An array of defense strategies can be explored, including fighting back on the assertion you were in physical control of the vehicle or challenging the validity of the field sobriety tests or breathalyzer results. Drunk driving tests are not always accurate, there have been cases where it is proven that the results of the tests were influenced by a medical condition or medication, for instance.

Who can you talk to after being arrested for a DWI while sleeping in your car? If you are wondering who can help, make the call and connect with a seasoned attorney. With the help of a veteran lawyer, you can fight the charges and protect your future. Contact the legal team at Ayson Law Firm to discuss your case and explore your options. Reach out today to schedule your fee-free consultation.

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