Police Change Arrest Policy for Texas DWI in Fort Worth

Fort Worth police have dealt with many motorists so intoxicated that they were passed out behind the wheel of their parked cars. General orders for an arrest for a Texas DWI in Fort Worth however required that officers have proof that the motorist was actually driving a vehicle. As a consequence, typically no drunk driving charges were filed.

The definition of operating a vehicle was the sticking point, as it was usually interpreted as having the engine running with the vehicle in gear and the driver utilizing the brake or accelerator. Instead of being arrested with drunk driving in Fort Worth, passed out motorists were charged with public intoxication and allowed to sober up in jail.

An arrest for driving while intoxicated in Texas is more serious, resulting in fines, loss of license, a 2-year probation period and possibly even mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. In contrast, a public intoxication charge simply requires payment of a fine, and the arrest does not go on record as an alcohol related driving incident.

To address the issue, the District Attorney

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