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Sometimes the physical strength and energy needed to complete a shopping trip is too much to handle, and motorized shopping carts can be a huge help for those who need them. Handicapped or injured shoppers appreciate the scooters being available. Apparently they are an appealing mode of transportation to others as well. There are arrest records in several states that mention stealing shopping carts while (you guessed it) enjoying alcoholic beverages. Judging by the trouble even sober people have driving these carts, it’s hard to imagine this being a good option for a drunk person.
A few years ago, an Alabama man was arrested by Dothan police for stealing a motorized shopping cart and the alcohol that was stashed inside the basket. We ran across this news story while researching other DUI issues, and it intrigued us and raised questions. Could he have been charged with a DUI if he had started drinking the alcohol while driving the scooter. Based on the laws in some states, it seems that this is indeed a possibility.
Laws vary so much from state to state, and law officials and judges must often interpret the laws. The basic elements in many of the non-car DUI cases seem to be that a person was above the legal drinking limit (based on blood alcohol content) and on, in, or operating something that was moving. However, you can even get a DUI when you're parked and sleeping it off which sounds like an interesting topic for another day.
So can you get a DUI when driving something other than a personal automobile? Yes, you sure can. Every state’s DUI / DWI laws vary, but some are very broadly defined. In some states, you may receive a DUI if you are in physical control of a vehicle and are too impaired to safely control that vehicle. You can browse the internet and, on seemingly legitimate news outlets, there is no shortage of reported cases of DUIs on things like boats, bikes, horses, and other things including motorized shopping carts.
…even if it’s just a motorized shopping cart. Sometimes hearing these stories can be entertaining when no physical harm was done, but we should remember the dangers of driving drunk no matter what is being operated. If you need help driving safely, call us at (866) 447-8686. Stay up to date on things related to DUI and DWI by following our blog.
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