Can You Get a DUI on a Lawnmower or an ATV?
In the rural communities surrounding Orlando, it is common to see people riding vehicles such as lawnmowers, ATVs, dirt bikes, and more. Although riding these vehicles is often legal, people wonder if many of the same traffic laws apply to these modes of transportation. One of the main questions our lawyers are asked is whether a person can face criminal charges for a DUI on these alternative vehicles. In most cases, it is possible to be arrested for a DUI any time you are operating or are in physical control of a vehicle, and it is important to know what the law says about it.
Vehicles as Defined by State Law
It is true that any time you are driving or are in physical control of a vehicle, you can face DUI charges if you are under the influence of alcohol, chemicals, or a controlled substance. Under Florida law, a vehicle is defined as any device that can transport a person or their property on the highway. The language used within the statute, “any device,” is fairly vague. In the past, the Florida Courts have determined that bicycles and even horses are considered vehicles, even though they may travel at significantly lower speeds than other vehicles.
Types of Vehicles Subject to a DUI
Lawnmowers and ATVs are some of the most common vehicles Floridians have been using when they unexpectedly face DUI charges. However, there are others, as well. These include:
- Wheel chairs
- Golf carts
- Horses and buggies
- Electric bicycles
- Electric scooters
Any time you are operating or are in physical control of the above vehicles and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.08 percent, or you are visibly impaired, you may face criminal charges.
Are There Times DUI Charges Do Not Apply?
While many different types of devices are considered vehicles under state law, there are still times when you cannot be arrested for a DUI. This is sometimes true even if you are impaired and operating a vehicle. For example, if someone was confined to a wheelchair and became intoxicated, they could not face charges for a DUI if they remained at home. Likewise, if a person was using a riding lawn mower to cut their own grass and they had a BAC over the legal limit, they also could not be charged with a DUI.
However, any time a person takes a vehicle such as a lawn mower or ATV onto a public road, they must have a BAC below the legal limit. Otherwise, they are placing others in danger and they could face criminal charges.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Orlando Can Help with Your DUI Charges
If you have been charged with driving under the influence while operating a lawn mower or other vehicle, our Orlando criminal defense lawyers at O’Mara Law Group can help. Our experienced attorneys know the defense strategies that work and will use them to give you the best chance of beating the charges and retaining your freedom. Call us today at 407-634-6604 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.