As an Austin DWI Defense Lawyer,
a lot of people ask me, “Tony, can I get arrested for a DWI even if I’m outside my car?” The short answer is yes.
All a police officer needs is some evidence you were drinking and some evidence you were driving. For example, if a police officer finds you asleep in your car with the key in the ignition, they can use the community caretaking excuse to make sure “you’re okay” and ask you to step out of your car for a sec. But the moment you step out of your car and answer their first question, they can now allege they smell alcohol on your breath. And that’s all they need to arrest you for DWI.
Another common scenario is if you get out of your car at a place like a gas station, and the clerk calls the cops on you. If the cops get there before you leave, they can arrest you for DWI.
This is one story that I will never remember. One Tuesday night at 9pm in East Austin, Nate’s truck rolls into a gas station with a flat tire and a bent rim. Luckily for him, the other guys pumping gas at the station were EMS. They call the cops and tell them that he smells like alcohol. Cops show up just as he is about to leave in his uber. They stop him and ask him questions. One cop goes inside the store to watch security footage of him driving into the gas station. The cops need to prove someone was driving for a DWI. That is a very important element of the offense.
Was he screwed? No. Normally, there are nurses at the Austin Jail Thursday to Sunday night from 8pm-5am. But it was a Tuesday night so there was no nurse at the jail to take blood. Nate refused a breath test, so it forced the officers to go obtain a blood search warrant from a judge. But since there was no nurse at the Austin Jail, even if they got a blood search warrant, it would have been inconvenient because they would have had to drive him to a hospital to draw his blood. They didn’t. As his Austin DWI Defense Lawyer, we set his case for trial, and we got him a favorable deal, which he decided to take before trial.
The moral of the story is it’s easy to get arrested for DWI in Austin, but the police and prosecutor don’t have a slam dunk case against you. Don’t settle for anything less than an aggressive Austin DWI Defense Lawyer who will advocate for you.
Remember, police officers think they’re doing good by getting drunk people off the road. But to them, everyone who has one drink is drunk. So being honest with them will only get you arrested, especially here in Austin. So remember, just because you’re physically outside of your car doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.
Keep in mind that police officers get trained to ask disarming questions that get you to admit things that incriminate yourself, which I explained in a previous video.
Call my office today if you want to discuss your case with an experienced Austin DWI Defense Lawyer.