As temperatures continue to climb, you are probably looking forward to spending time outdoors with your friends. If your summer plans include drinking beer on the lake, enjoying wine on a patio or sipping on a cocktail at a baseball game, you must be careful not to drink and drive.
In the Lone Star State, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle if you have a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08%. While driving a car certainly qualifies as operating it, you can face DWI charges without moving the vehicle. In fact, even sleeping in your car while drunk can lead to DWI charges.
A broad interpretation
Judges in Texas usually broadly interpret the state’s DWI statute. This means if you are drunk, simply having control over the vehicle can lead to DWI charges. Even without driving, the following situations may be problematic:
- Putting the keys in your car’s ignition
- Sitting in the driver’s seat
- Turning on your car’s engine
- Putting your car into gear
A false sense of sobriety
According to Medical News Today, sleeping is one of the more effective ways to reduce your BAC. This is true for two reasons. First, when you sleep, time naturally passes. Second, sleep speeds up your body’s ability both to process alcohol and to remove it from your system.
A quick nap in your car may give you a false sense of sobriety, however. Specifically, you may not rest long enough for your BAC to drop below the legal limit. If you begin to drive too soon, you may find yourself in handcuffs.
Ultimately, rather than trying to sleep off your intoxication in your vehicle, you are better off arranging a sober ride home and picking up your car later.