Can Police Wait Outside A Bar For DWI Suspects?
When a police officer makes personal contact during a drunk driving investigation, they will ask you questions like: Where are you coming from? What were you doing there? Where are you headed? This line of questioning is often used by police if they suspect that you were driving while intoxicated.
Over time, many police notice patterns with bars where patrons like to get drunk, their hours of operation, and an area nearby where you might violate a traffic law. Many wonder whether this type of strategic planning is considered “entrapment.”
Armchair experts who have watched a few police procedurals and legal dramas might say that this type of behavior is entrapment, but realistically, this is just targeted enforcement. Police identify an area rife with illegal activity and respond to it accordingly. So, what is entrapment then?
Entrapment According to Texas Law
Under the Texas Penal Code, entrapment is a legal defense you can use to defend yourself in court. Entrapment is when a police officer persuades or influences you to break the law. The above scenario does not qualify because the officer is monitoring an area where he or she will likely see a traffic violation. In other words, they did not make you drink until you were over the legal limit and drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
For argument’s sake, say the officer is parked across the street from the bar, waits for you to leave, and simply follows you after you drive out of the parking lot. Would this be entrapment? The short answer is no, but the officer cannot pull you over for simply leaving a place that serves alcohol. The officer needs probable cause to conduct a traffic stop. If the officer pulls you over without probable cause of a crime, anything they learn afterward would likely be tainted and inadmissible in court.
If you were to claim entrapment in court, the officer would likely deny it or point to whatever evidence they have to prove the probable cause of a DWI. In most jurisdictions, DWIs are considered high priority, so they are trained extensively to investigate them from beginning to end. In turn, you would have to provide evidence such as a video recording or a third-party witness that the officer entrapped you.
Contact a San Antonio, TX DWI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for DWI, you should contact a seasoned Texas DWI lawyer. The award-winning Law Office of Sam H. Lock has more than a decade of experience defending against DWI cases. Contact attorney Sam H. Lock at 1-888-SAM-LOCK or 888-726-5625 for a free consultation today.