Can You Get a DWI for Being Asleep, Parked in a Parking Lot?

Common sense and good public policy says NO! However, cops and prosecutors are taught otherwise. So, what is the legal answer? The legal answer is: DWI in Texas is “operate a motor vehicle.” The terms “operate a motor vehicle” are NOT defined in the Texas Penal Code, so judges and juries are free to assign their own definition to “operate.” I have had both juries and judges say Not Guilty in situations where a defendant is behind the wheel, asleep, and the vehicle is in park, parked in a parking lot or on a residential street. The obvious follow up... Continue reading →