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Drunken Driving on Unusual Vehicles Can Result in DUI

If you think you can only get a DUI in a car, truck, or on a motorcycle, think again. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is illegal and dangerous when you’re operating one of these vehicles, but they aren’t the only vehicles that can cause a DUI if you use them while drunk or high.

You Can Get a DUI While Driving Things That Aren’t Cars, Trucks, or Motorcycles

Colorado law doesn’t actually say anything about cars, trucks, motorcycles, or any other specific vehicle. Instead, it only refers to the fact that it’s illegal to operate a “motorized vehicle” while impaired, which can lead to some surprising interpretations.

Golf Carts

It may not seem so surprising to learn that you can get a DUI while driving a golf cart. After all, some communities in the U.S. treat these electric motor vehicles like any other motor vehicle on the road, requiring them to have license plates, lights, reflectors, and even seatbelts. Golf cart drivers must also follow all of the same rules of the road that other drivers do with few exceptions.

This means that driving a golf cart while impaired by drugs or alcohol isn’t legal in Colorado. You may not even be safe from a DUI arrest if you do it on a private golf course. We explain how that’s possible toward the end of this article.

Boats & Motorized Watercraft

Perhaps less surprising than the possibility of getting a DUI on a golf cart is getting one while operating a motorboat or another motorized watercraft. There’s actually a distinct name for this offense – Boating Under the Influence (BUI) – and its penalties mirror those of any other kind of DUI.

Aircraft

You might think the last thing someone would do is get into an airplane while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but it’s possible.

If an accusation like this arises, however, it can be a more complicated prosecution than any other DUI-related case. This is because the federal government may be involved via the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and merely being accused of flying under the influence can result in a revocation of one’s pilot license until the matter is resolved.

Snowmobiles

Many people enjoy taking snowmobiles out for winter recreation, but DUI laws still apply even if these vehicles don’t ride on asphalt. If you are operating a snowmobile while impaired by drugs or alcohol, you can be arrested and charged with DUI.

Ride-On Lawnmowers

Believe it or not: The cops can arrest you for DUI if you ride your lawnmower while intoxicated. It might seem crazy, but it happened in Colorado during 2014. Although the man in the 2014 case was riding a lawnmower around town, you can still get a DUI if you ride while intoxicated on your own front lawn – more on that below!

Zambonis

Zamboni is a name brand for mechanical ice resurfaces used at indoor and outdoor ice rinks. Because these are motor vehicles, driving one while impaired by drugs or alcohol can result in a DUI. Not only that, but an impaired Zamboni driver can cause serious injury to others and destroy property if they are not in full control of their faculties.

Zamboni-related DUI arrests are rare, but they aren’t the stuff of legend. One happened in New Jersey during 2005 and another occurred in North Dakota during 2015. There’s no reason why it couldn’t happen in Colorado – if it hasn’t already.

Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices

Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices (EPAMDs) can be considered motor vehicles under Colorado’s DUI laws. EPAMDs are typically built to provide a single rider with mobility and may include things such as electric wheelchairs, Segway Human Transports, mobility scooters, and hoverboards.

Even if it seems absurd, it’s possible to get arrested for DUI while riding an EPAMD under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A man in Florida was arrested in 2015 for DUI while obstructing traffic in his electric wheelchair, and a similar scenario could play out in any other state.

Can I Drink & Drive on Private Property?

There’s an important difference between “private property” when we talk about ownership versus when we talk about accessibility. If members of the public can access private property, you can still get a DUI if you drink and drive on that property.

As it turns out, a lot of ostensibly “private” property is publicly accessible, whether with or without permission. Everything from a parking lot to a golf course or even your own front yard can be accessed by the public. Because of this, you can get arrested for DUI if you choose to drink and drive – even on an unusual vehicle – on privately held property.

Arrested for DUI? We Can Help.

If you were arrested for DUI while operating any kind of motor vehicle, Orr Law Firm can help. With support from our experienced attorneys, you may be able to reduce or beat the charges against you. We’ll strive to ensure you are treated fairly and your rights are protected throughout the process.

For more information, reach out to Orr Law Firm online and request an initial consultation.

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