Have you ever wondered if you can drink and drive in a wheelchair? I know it’s a weird thing to ask yourself. However, it can be very crucial since there is law and order involved in this. That’s why here I will be discussing you can get a DUI in a wheelchair and more.
But before we get into all the laws about this, I am leaving you with a question here. Should you be drinking and driving any motor vehicle? Because no matter what the circumstances are, it’s dangerous.
Having said that, let’s get into the real deal.
Can You Get A DUI In A Wheelchair
Whether you will be charged for DUI in a wheelchair or not depends on the law of the state you live in. Some states have DUI laws on bicycles as well. This means you don’t always need a motorized vehicle to get charged with DUI.
In some places, the law is “As long as you are in control of a vehicle that you aren’t able to drive properly due to being drunk or drugged, you will get a DUI. It doesn’t matter if the vehicle is motorized or not.” So, in such cases, a manual wheelchair can also lead to getting charged with DUI.
However, this isn’t the law for many of the states. Only a few abide by these rules. The most common law that goes all around is DUI in motorized vehicles. This means you can get DUI in a motorized wheelchair in most of the states.
DUI In Georgia First Offense: Some Past Instances
Let’s go through some past instances of such cases to learn more.
One instance of such a matter happened in Georgia. A man was charged with DUI due to making a scene in a grocery store. He was drunk and in an electric wheelchair carrier. He eventually lost control of the vehicle and ran over some plants, and made a mess of the place.
Remember, he wasn’t on the road either. He was on private property, which he damaged due to drinking and driving a wheelchair. So, this shows that wheelchair DUIs aren’t hypothetical.
Does that bring us to what are the consequences of driving under the influence of a wheelchair? Let’s get through them. And before you charge an electric wheelchair to go out, learn the laws and rules of using them first.
DUI Arrest for Motorized Wheelchair
Getting arrested for driving a motorized wheelchair or mobility scooter is pretty common, actually. There are many instances where this happened. You wouldn’t want to get into those as an electric wheelchair cost can hit your bank very hard.
Also, you should check up about class 2 and Class 3 mobility scooter rules around your locality. Usually, the class 2 scooters aren’t legal to drive on the roads. And you don’t need any registration to drive them either. On the contrary, you will need to register for a class 3 mobility scooter. You can drive them on the road at an 8mph speed. Adding to that, you will need to be at least 14 to drive a class 3 mobility scooter.
Even though motorized wheelchair DUI cases may sound a bit of overreaction to some people, but there is nothing you can do about the law. Also, technically they are vehicles. Since the definition of a vehicle says that anything with wheels or tracks which can move around from place to place is a vehicle. And a motorized wheelchair can do that, so it’s considered a vehicle by law.
Again, there is no way to pinpoint what punishment you get for DUI charges. That depends on your local laws. However, they don’t deviate too much based on different states. So, here are some common outcomes of driving under the influence-
- Suspension of Driving license
- Going to jail for a certain time
- Confiscation of license plate
- IID restrictions
- Monitoring Sobriety
- Evaluation of alcohol abuse
- A certain amount of Fine and fees
These are some common punishments people come across as DUI charges. Some particular areas are lenient about this stuff, and some are stricter. And no matter what kind of vehicle you are driving, you will get charged with the same punishment. They treat drunk wheelchair DUI as the same as DUI for cars.
For your convenience, I will go through some of the laws in Florida. They are pretty serious yet reasonable with their approach to DUI. Let’s check them out.
DUI Laws in Florida/USA
Driving under the influence is not something that you can get away with in Florida. They have different criterions set up for the penalties you may get. If you have prior offenses with the same stuff, you will be looking at some serious penalties. Let’s get to the facts without further words.
So, the Florida Law on DUI comes in 4 parts. They are-
- First Offense: In the first offense, the convict has to work in community service for 50 hours or more. They can also pay 500 to 1000 USD instead of serving the community. They might also get 6 months of IID restrictions. Also, jail time can be from somewhere around 6 to 9 months. They might be on probation for the year as well.To get out of this, there is a way which is called the diversion program. First offenders can apply for that which tackles some of the consequences of DUI.
- Second Offense: For the second offense, an offender will serve jail time of 9 to 12 months. Or they have to pay 1000 to 2000 USD. Their driver’s license may be revoked for five years. The IID restrictions will last for 2 years. If the second offense occurs before the previous one within five years, they have to go for mandatory 10 days in jail.
- Third Offense: In the third offense, the jail time goes directly to a year. For the penalties, they have to pay 2000 to 5000 dollars. If it takes place before the previous one within 10 years, they have to serve mandatory 30 days of jail time. This can also result in 10 years of license suspension.
- Felony Charges: If by any means an offender causes damage to property or serious injury or death, they are in for serious punishment. Damaging property can lead to a 1000 USD fine or one year in jail. Causing serious injury will lead to 5 years in prison or a 10,000 USD fine and 3-year license suspension. And if they cause any death, they have to serve 15 years in prison and a 10,000 USD fine with a permanent revocation of driver’s license.
So, these are the punishment an offender gets for Driving or In Control of a Vehicle in Florida. But how do you deal with your first-time DUI offense? It’s time to reveal that.
Can A First Offense DUI Be Dismissed
There is no questioning that you have to seek the help of a lawyer. If you don’t have any idea about the laws of your locality, your best bet is to find a lawyer immediately.
A lawyer will be able to bring you the best and least punishment from a DUI charge. It doesn’t assure that you will be proven not guilty since it’s about drinking and driving. But they can help you along the way. Even if you choose to plead guilty, an attorney is necessary for that matter. They can get into the negotiation of the plea deal.
Try to get a lawyer before going into police custody. This can help you majorly in this case, especially if you are drunk in charge of a wheelchair which is a tricky matter to handle.
Your goal from the first-time DUI offense is to avoid jail time and protect your license in any way you can. It’s important to maintain integrity. That’s how you can deal with your first-time DUI offense.
Other Strange DUIs
Well, wheelchair DUI isn’t the only insane law around the world. Some other DUI charges may weird you out. Let’s get through them quickly.
DUI On A Boat
No matter which state you are from, you can get a DUI for driving a boat while being drunk. It’s supposedly considered as same as DUI for cars. So, there is no escaping from Boat DUI or BUI.
DUI On A Horse
As insane as it may sound, you can get a DUI for riding a horse while being drunk in some states. Even though they aren’t vehicles or have wheels, you are in control of them. This is the ground they put you in for DUI in a horse.
DUI On A Skateboard
If riding a horse can get you a DUI, why can’t skates get you DUI? They even have wheels. That’s right; you can get a DUI for skating while being drunk.
At this point, it’s needless to say; you don’t need a car to get a DUI. In short, being drunk in public is enough to get you into trouble no matter what you do. So, it’s always better to avoid drinking and being on any transportation medium at all.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):
Here are some common questions regarding DUI laws-
What Country Has The Strictest DUI Laws?
In terms of penalties and punishment South Africa has some strict DUI laws. However, El Salvador, a country from Central America, declares the death penalty for DUI.
Can You Drink And Drive A Wheelchair?
In most of the states, you can’t drink and drive a wheelchair. However, manual wheelchairs can be an exception in some states and countries, especially if they are motorized.
Can You Get A DUI On Heelys?
Weirdly, you can get a DUI on Heelys in some states. As they have wheels on them and you control them, you can get DUI on Heelys.
What Are The Odds Of Getting A DUI?
The odds of getting a DUI vary depending on where you live. The average probability of getting a DUI is one in 100000. So, it’s not very high.
Are Two-Seater Mobility Scooters Legal?
Two-seater mobility scooters aren’t truly legal in every state. As they are considered vehicles rather than invalid carriage, they aren’t legal in many places.
Do Mobility Scooters Need Tax And Insurance?
There is no need to pay any taxes for mobility scooters if they are registered. Usually, all the scooters are registered as class 3 invalid carriage by the manufacturers. If your scooter is not registered, then get it registered, and you won’t need any taxes. Although insurance isn’t necessary for a scooter, it’s recommended.
Is Wheelchair DUIs Discriminatory?
No, there is no discrimination for wheelchair DUI’s. If a disabled person gets a DUI, he or she has to go through a similar procedure as other DUI charges.
Can You Get A DUI On A Bicycle?
Depending on where you live, you can get DUI on any vehicle or transportation medium. They consider anything under your control and driving to be a DUI offense if you are drunk.
Let’s rewind and take a look at all the factors here. I tried to take you through the whole debate of can you get a DUI in a wheelchair or not. And as you know right now, the answer is yes; you can in most places. No matter how insane that sounds, that’s the law you have to abide by.
Many people may think this to be unnecessary, but it is a needed law. Because if you lose control of being drunk, you can hurt yourself and hurt others. This can lead to disability and serious injuries to more people. So, it’s best not to drink and drive any vehicle at all.
The takeaway from this article is to learn about your local law regarding DUI. You should know about them as they can be helpful to get you rid of all kinds of trouble. I sincerely hope this has helped you in some ways.