Despite freezing conditions, Arlington police arrested a man naked from the waist down on November 15, 2019. Despite arriving on the scene to investigate reports of a disturbance, police ultimately arrested him on the charge of driving while intoxicated.
Residents of the Arlington neighborhood phoned police on the evening of November 15 after Walied Taha, 27, allegedly began knocking on doors in the 4800 block of Hollow Tree Court in Arlington. According to the police report, the residents noticed Taha acting erratically. This was punctuated by the fact that he was wearing a jacket but was nude from the waist down.
When police arrived at the scene, they observed a vehicle parked in the middle of a roadway nearby. As the officers investigated the vehicle, the partially nude man approached them admitted to owning the vehicle. The police report reflects that the officers suspected Taha was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. After Taha performed field sobriety tests, the officers arrested him under suspicion of DWI despite never seeing him drive.
DWI Arrests When Police Don't See You Drive
As strange as it sounds, the police can arrest you even when no one witnesses you driving. Just like in the case described above, law enforcement can use circumstantial evidence to make an arrest. There are three elements that must be proven in a DWI case:
- You were illegally intoxicated;
- You were in a public place;
- You were operating a motor vehicle.
In most DWI cases, the officers witness the defendant driving on a public street. However, the law allows police to make an arrest for DWI when they can infer a person was operating a motor vehicle – even when they did not witness them drive.
In many cases, the police will point to a series of factors as evidence of driving the vehicle. This could include witness statements or traffic cam video. Police can also use the process of elimination. For example, if they arrive at the scene of a one-vehicle accident, the person sitting behind the wheel could make for a suspect.
Arguably the most powerful piece of evidence is an admission. If a person admits to the police that they had been driving, this alone could be enough to lead to an arrest. In the case of Mr. Taha, the police report was vague on what he discussed with the officers. While it is unclear if he admitted driving his vehicle or parking it in the middle of the road, the officers claim he admitted the vehicle was his. Between his ownership of the vehicle, the car being parked in the middle of the road, and no one else around, the officers obviously believed they could make an arrest.
Let a Houston DWI Defense Lawyer Help
If you have been arrested in Houston on suspicion of DWI, you have the right to a defense. In many cases, the strongest defense could be the general lack of evidence. To discuss the potential defenses in your case, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. right away.