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Question: Can you explain actual physical control in Texas?

Answer: In Texas, when you talk about physical control of a vehicle, what we’re talking about is operating the vehicle. A person can be in the car with the car on and their foot on the brake, and the car be in gear, and that’s operating the vehicle. They can also be asleep in the car and they can use circumstantial evidence to prove that the person drove there. If the car is in the person’s name, if there was nobody else around, then they can use that to show that they were operating the vehicle. Very often on single-car accidents, there’s nobody else around and the police officer will ask them, ask the person, if they were driving and they’ll say, “Yes.” So, a police officer doesn’t actually have to see them driving to arrest them for a DWI; they just have to be able to prove operating the vehicle, and that can come from a number of different places.

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