You probably think the legal term “driving under the influence” only applies to drivers who are drunk or drugged and operate a motor vehicle. Your are partially correct. In a sense. you are wrong, as well. A driving under the influence charge, or DUI, is not limited to the typical motor vehicles that you are probably thinking of like trucks and cars. In fact, California law enforcement can arrest you for driving other vehicles. It does not matter if that “vehicle” is what usually qualifies as vehicle.
What would happen if you decided you had too many alcoholic beverages and drove a tricycle home instead? The police officer would probably snicker as he or she watched you ride along on the tricycle, right? Well, that is not what happened to an Oregon man. According to news reports, police there arrested him for driving an adult-sized tricycle while under the influence of alcohol.
Prior to the arrest, police stopped the man and issued him a warning. Later, an officer noticed the man riding his tricycle on the wrong side of the road. That is when he was arrested for DUI.
Another surprising way to get a DUI without driving a vehicle is operating a buggy. According to a news report, police arrested a man for operating an Amish buggy while under the influence of alcohol. The police stopped the buggy when they saw a man had allegedly committed a traffic violation. The buggy did not have any visible lights on it. Later, the police discovered that the man had drank 12 beers while attending a carnival.
You may be thinking it’s conceivable that those two “vehicles” would qualify as a vehicle. What about a wheelchair? In Illinois, police can arrest you for operating a motorized while chair while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to news reports, law enforcement arrested a man for driving his motorized wheelchair to the store. He was allegedly driving under the influence at the time. He spent one night in jail before officers determined that the wheelchair was not actually a vehicle. They voided the ticket.
Many states do consider motorized scooters vehicles. It is part of the law. For instance, one man was arrested in North Carolina after he was operating a 50-pound electric scooter while under the influence. According to reports, the man was swerving at the time he was stopped. Sobriety tests revealed that his blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, was 0.13 percent. This was over the legal limit. Later, a jury found the man guilty of DUI. Keep in mind that North Carolina allows individuals to operate lawn mowers and horses while under the influence of alcohol.
If you are charged with DUI in Los Angeles County, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin to schedule your free consultation. We are experienced in fighting all types of DUI charges.