A little mud never hurt anyone in the Lone Star State, especially when it is so easy to clean up and get back on the road for more Texas living. You just take your car, truck or SUV to the local drive-thru car wash, sit back and watch the Technicolor foam scrub away the dirt. That five minutes of driving through a rainbow is the perfect time to sit back and crack open a beer, in fact. You’re not actually driving, right? Can’t you get away with a little DWI fun while your release the grip of dirt from your car?
Well, no. You cannot drink while your vehicle is going through a car wash, not unless you’re ready for a DWI, or at least a round of sobriety testing on the other side.
Technically, if you are in your vehicle, behind the steering wheel, you are assumed to be in control (or driving) it. When you have a beer in your hand, while behind the wheel of your vehicle, you are drinking while driving. Since this isn’t Mississippi, that gives law enforcement the probable cause needed to stop you and ask you to submit to a sobriety screening, including a breathalyzer test. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above .08 percent, you’ll be charged with DWI and face a car breathalyzer or ignition interlock requirement, among other penalties. If you are below the legal limit, you could still be charged with reckless driving, public intoxication or an open container violation.
We get that the car wash foam is cool, but it isn’t worth all the hassle to enjoy those pretty colors while sipping on your favorite beer. Plus, it would be a shame to clean your car, only to have it restricted with an ignition interlock device after your DWI debacle. Keep it clean, Texas, and save the beer for when you won’t be driving, even if just through your local car wash.