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Ask a Cop: Hold the beer until you’re home

Ed from Nederland Asks- Officer Antoine, I was riding home from work a few weeks ago with a co-worker and he stopped off at a gas station and picked up a beer. My eyebrows went up because I’m totally against drinking and driving. He then opened the can of beer, and that’s when my mouth went into gear. I told him among other things that “You can go to jail for drinking and driving.” That’s when he started laughing saying he can’t be taken to jail for drinking and driving

because at that point, he’s just started drinking. He told me I needed to chill down and asked if I wanted some of his beer! Officer Antoine, I know several people who have been arrested for drinking and driving. Where he got his information from I’m not sure. Officer Antoine, have I fallen into a dark hole where I’ve been suspended in time, or is driving while drinking still illegal in Texas?

Answer- Good Question Ed! (Laughing) No Ed, I don’t believe you’ve been suspended in time. It seems you may need a little tweaking about the Driving while Drinking law in Texas! Ed, I stand with you that no one should consume any amount of an alcoholic beverage and drive a motor vehicle. Your co-worker was wrong and right in his behavior and answer the other day, and Ed you were right it is illegal to consume or be in possession of any open container of an alcoholic beverage while in a motor vehicle in Texas. With that said, your co-worker was right being that he just got off work, and it’s safe to say that after a few sips of the beer, he was NOT intoxicated yet! Ed, not many motorists are aware of the two violations someone can’t be arrested for while being a driver or passenger of a motor vehicle. Apparently your co-worker is aware of one and that’s having an open container of alcohol while in a motor vehicle. This is definitely not a green light to drink and drive because it is still illegal, but if you’re not intoxicated you can NOT be arrested for the open container of alcohol beverage. I stand with the state of Texas and their motto “Don’t Drink and Drive!” Don’t do it because most motorists can’t judge their point to stop the consumption of alcohol beverages before they get behind the wheel. Annually, statistics have proven the dangers of the deadly act of driving while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. Let’s be the opposite of NIKE and say “JUST DON’T DO IT!!”

Lovely from Beaumont Asks- Officer Antoine, I recently read your article where you spoke very clearly about the dangers of texting while driving, in which I agree with you 100%. With that said, I think an equal danger on the roads  are drivers who allow their dogs to be all over their body while driving, mostly having their head and legs out of the driver’s window. I’m not an animal hater, I have two wonderful fur friends, but they’re not allowed to be on me while driving. Officer Antoine, is having a dog all over the driver a distraction and is this legal, or why isn’t this illegal?

Answer- Good Question Lovely! You’re right, dogs in the lap of motorists while they’re operating a motor vehicle is definitely a distraction. Lovely, keep in mind laws are made only after something happens, so in the state of Texas, I thank God nothing monumental has occurred to someone because a dog was sitting on the driver’s lap. Therefore there’s no such law in Texas that requires a dog to wear a seatbelt or be restrained in a crate while a motor vehicle is being driven. Only Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Rhode Island have laws that enforce the safe crating or restraining of a dog while they are being transported in a motor vehicle. I must say I’m not a hater of our furry friends, but I like you have trained my dogs to sit down while in a motor vehicle. Lovely, let’s hope we NEVER have to make this a law in Texas!!!

Lee from Port Arthur Asks- Officer Antoine, I’m learning so much thanks toAsk A Cop. My Dad and I are at odds about the law on U Turns. We need to know that if there’s a NO U Turn sign posted in an area, what’s the distance a driver can travel after the NO U TURN sign to legally make a U TURN?

Answer- Good Question Lee! What a wonderful and somewhat ambitious law to argue, the legality of U Turns in the great state of Texas. Lee, it’s not stated how far someone is allowed to travel after passing a No U Turn sign, to legally make a U Turn. I believe we are all on the same page that if the sign says No U Turn, we can’t make a U Turn right there. But how far you can go before you can make a U Turn, no one knows!!! The Texas Transportation Code 545.102 only states this regarding U Turns, that an operator may not turn a vehicle to move in the opposite direction when approaching a curve on the crest of a grade if the vehicle is not visible to the operator of another vehicle approaching from either direction within 500 feet. Lee That’s the extent of what the Texas Transportation Code speaks on U Turns, so all I can advise you if you see a sign on a straight road that says No U Turn, don’t make a U Turn anywhere near that sign!

Join Officer Antoine forAsk A Cop Live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday (Today) for 1 hour from 1p-2p. Tune in and listen as Officer Antoine discusses in detail the newly released Ask A Cop article that printed in The News. You can also tune in via internet at www.ksapthebreeze.org. Feel free to call in and ask your question live to Officer Antoine at (409) 982-0247.

Remember to email your questions to Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov, or call 409-983-8673 and leave a message or voice mail question, or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you canAsk A Cop!