DWI entrapment is a real problem that happens more than we would like to admit. If you’re a little foggy about the term’s definition, DWI entrapment occurs when an individual has somehow been compelled or coerced by a police officer into drinking and driving.

When you can prove that DWI entrapment has occurred, you can use that act as a legitimate defense in court. But how does DWI entrapment actually happen? Exactly what is entrapment by a police officer? We’re glad you asked.

The police officer thinks DWI is a good idea? Smells like DWI entrapment.

We respect our local police officers, but some police officers don’t always have your best interests at heart. Sad, but true. And if a police officer tells you that it’s a good idea to get into your car while you’re drunk, DON’T BELIEVE HIM (or her — it is 2019, after all).

This could happen after you exit the bar. Perhaps the officer was even parked right outside, just waiting for someone like you to stumble out of the bar. At this point, you might ask yourself, “Is it illegal for a cop to wait outside a bar?” And that would be a big, fat no.

Cops can definitely wait outside a bar. It’s a public place, and if they don’t coerce you into drinking and driving, they’re doing nothing wrong. While you could argue that a police officer probably has better things to do — especially in a large city — it’s still perfectly legal. Sorry.

If you’re suddenly worried about police officers staking out in parking lots, here are a few tips on how to spot an undercover cop in Texas.

The police officer asks you (obviously tipsy) to move your car? Yup. DWI entrapment.

This example of DWI entrapment is a tricky one because it’s manipulation at its finest. Let’s say you walk out of the bar, and you’re drunk off your bum. You’re in no condition to drive, and you don’t want to get in your car — but a police officer approaches you anyway.

At this point, the officer could use any number of tactics to get you in your car. For example, they might tell you that your car is parked improperly or that it’s parked in a lot that’s about to close. Whatever the excuse is, don’t fall for it. As soon as you go to move your car, you can be charged with a DWI, so don’t be afraid to tell the police officer, “no.” Otherwise, you may be looking up details for DWI fines and DWI expungement in Texas.

The police officer helps you get into your car? DWI entrapment in sheep’s clothing.

Police targeting bars is not uncommon, so make sure you’re ready to face an officer the next time you head out to one. But this goes above and beyond being prepared to simply shake an officer’s hand. Instead, you need to be prepared to both identify and circumvent the pleasant manipulation of an officer.

Let’s say you walk out of the bar obviously having long surpassed the legal alcohol limit in Texas. As you’re walking — and not to your car — you stumble. The officer rushes over and offers to help you to your car. Even though you deny the help, the officer helps you to your car anyway.

You comply. It’s cold outside, so you stick your keys in the ignition so that you can sit in the heat. A few minutes later, the police officer sticks you in his backseat. You had no intent to commit a crime, but you were somehow manipulated into committing one — and by an officer of all people. If this seems illegal, it’s because it is. Don’t fall for it.

The police officer threatens you

That’s right. A police officer might actually threaten you just so they can arrest you for a DWI. Yes, it happens, and you need to be prepared for it just like you’ve prepared yourself by knowing what to do when you’re caught with weed and how the open container law in Texas works.

In this particular instance, it’s easy for a police officer to threaten you with a charge of public intoxication — but there are still ways around it. For example, if a police officer says you need to get in your car “or else” they’ll charge you, then go ahead and get in your car BUT leave your keys underneath your car and get into your backseat, instead. Make it as difficult as possible for a police officer to arrest you for a DWI. Make their job “harder” by doing the right thing.

What to do if you think you’re a victim of DWI entrapment

If you’re facing a DWI charge and believe you are a victim of DWI entrapment, then you need to consult an expert as soon as possible. While you can use DWI entrapment as a defense in court, it can be very difficult to prove. But with the experts of Thiessen Law Firm at your side, you can remain confident knowing you have a skilled DWI attorney in Houston fighting for your rights. Give us a call at (713) 864-9000 or send us a message today.

Related Resources

Mark Thiessen

Mark Thiessen is an aggressive trial lawyer best known for his devotion to justice for his clients and high rank as a DWI Super Lawyer in Texas.