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Can a Police Officer Arrest Me for OWI on My Own Property (or Other Private Property)?

If you have watched television shows like COPS consistently enough, you probably know of a common misconception: If I’m on my own property, law enforcement officials cannot conduct a traffic stop, let alone arrest me for Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated (OWI).

This notion is false. Law enforcement officials may arrest you for OWI on your property or any other private property, even if you did not operate the motor vehicle on a public roadway.

Indiana Law Prohibits You from Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated, Even on Your Own Property

In some states, you may be able to defend yourself from an OWI or DUI charge by claiming that you never drove on a public roadway. This defense does not work in Indiana, as state laws explicitly prohibit operating a motor vehicle anywhere while intoxicated or under the influence of prescription or illicit drugs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that you may face arrest for OWI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or greater or if you are a minor with any detectable trace of alcohol in your system.

Law Enforcement Officials Still Need Probable Cause for an OWI Arrest

A law enforcement officer must have probable cause to stop, question, and arrest you for OWI. Probable cause generally includes:

  1. A reason for the initial stop, such as speeding, erratic driving, or an unsafe vehicle
  2. Reason to suspect you are intoxicated, such as alcohol smell on your breath, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or lack of attentiveness


Countless OWI arrests occur without probable cause. We may find that a law enforcement officer never saw you operating the vehicle, did not have sufficient reason to stop you, or exaggerated reasons to conduct a breath or blood test. 

If you face an OWI charge in Indiana, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) explains that you may face jail time, thousands in fines, and other life-changing consequences that our firm may help you avoid. 

Call Razumich & Associates Today for a Free Consultation About Your OWI Defense

Our team is available 24/7, and there is no time to wait if you’re facing a conviction for OWI. Razumich & Associates will work to dismiss or reduce the charges you currently face. Contact us online or call 317-449-8661 today for your consultation.

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