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What is a “Public Place”?

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A “public place” as used in a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge in Texas is not defined in Chapter 49 of the Penal Code. However, a common definition that is used to determine whether a place is considered a public place or a private place is:

A “public place” as used in a DWI charge is a place the general public has access.


This definition of “public place” allows private parking lots and areas open to the public to be considered a “public place” in a DWI charge. Therefore, if you are “operating” a vehicle in the parking lot of a bar or shopping center, it is considered a “public place” for purposes of a DWI.

Proven Defense by a Former Law Enforcement Officer

Many people who are charged with an Austin DWI just assume there is no way to fight it. They think the best they can hope for is a smaller fine or a reduction in the amount of time they lose their license. We focus on defending anyone accused of a DWI. With the right legal counsel, there are other outcomes. Depending on the facts of the case, what if

  • Instead of months of suspension, you don’t lose your license at all?
  • Instead of making a deal for probation, you never get convicted?
  • Instead of having a DWI conviction, your record stays clean?
  • Instead of cutting bad deals, you get a vigorous DWI defense?

While every case depends on the facts and circumstances at play, mounting an aggressive defense to DWI charges may be your best option. The Austin Criminal Defense attorneys at Stephen T Bowling, P.C., handle all drunk driving cases, defending clients in both the criminal proceedings and driver’s license hearings.

Don’t trust just anyone with your DWI defense. Contact the law firm of Stephen T Bowling, PC, by e-mail or call us at 512-599-9000 to schedule your free consultation with an Austin DWI lawyer to discover some strategies we pursue in defending Austin Driving While Intoxicated cases.

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