Some people might not know that a person does not have to be behind the wheel of a car to get arrested and charged with driving under the influence. A number of people are busted regularly for tipsy driving of other vehicles.
Clever but still illegal
A few people try to circumvent DUI laws by using alternate means of transportation. They think riding a bicycle, riding lawn mower, golf cart or other vehicle that isn’t a car exempts them. It doesn’t.
For instance, according to the Daily Mail, Raymond Kulma of Utica, Mich., was recently discovered operating an electric wheelchair by police that he had stolen. Kulma isn’t disabled. When stopped by police, Kulma stood up and was obviously impaired. He failed field sobriety tests and was booked on suspicion of DUI, his seventh arrest for the offense, and for stealing the chair.
Essentially, anything that can be used for transportation is considered a vehicle under most state laws.
New York state, according to the Huffington Post, exempts horse-driven vehicles from DUI laws. However, four Amish youths in Chautauqua county, New York, took the reigns while drinking and crashed into a police car in March of this year and got minor-in-possession charges instead.
Pennsylvania doesn’t exempt horse-drawn vehicles, according to Fox News, which led to a 22-year-old Amish man receiving a DUI when he was found passed out in his buggy in early Dec. 2009, in East Lampeter Township, Penn.
Golf carts are also not exempt from DUI laws. James Straub of Stoneham, Mass., ingested more than the legal limit of alcohol and stole a golf cart from the Terry Hills Golf Course in Batavia, N.Y., in August 2011, according to MSNBC. He was wearing very colorful golf attire at the time, which led to the local police receiving reports of a clown operating a stolen golf cart.
Neither are riding lawnmowers. Michael Murden of Monroe, Ga., was arrested for DUI on August, 2011,while erratically operating a riding lawnmower, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to a post on the blog Sloshspot.com, people have gotten DUIs driving ATVs, tractors and snowmobiles while over the limit. At least one man has been arrested for DUI while legally drunk and operating a motorized bar stool; another man was busted for DUI while driving a motorized couch.
Motor not required
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s laws against operating any vehicle under the influence has resulted in numerous people being charged with DUI while riding a bicycle. Jeff Brown, of Columbus, Ohio, was charged with DUI in 2004 for merely pushing his bicycle while drunk, according to Reason.com.
Not only that, but if a person decides to sleep it off in their car, merely putting the keys in the ignition, according to AOL, can result in a DUI charge. The act establishes that the driver, even if the engine isn’t running and they are stone asleep in the back seat, technically has control of the vehicle.
Ultimately, no one should drive anything drunk. The best defense against a DUI is to have a designated driver or to indulge close enough to one’s home to walk back.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-man-gets-dui-1087755.html
Tampa Bay Times: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/two-bicycle-riders-charged-with-dui-on-same-day/1033308