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DUI on a Lawnmower, Just What is a Vehicle?

By: Michael Dye
Date Added : August 20, 2012 Views : 1200
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On Tuesday August 7, 2012, a Florida man was arrested and charged with DUI after he was caught riding drunk on his lawnmower. At first glance, this might seem slightly ridiculous. Yet, if you examine the facts of the case it begins to make a bit more sense. Initially, the suspect was first spotted driving his lawnmower on the road. Next, he was traveling northbound in the southbound lane. Finally, he was drinking a beer. So the officer\'s observations amounted to a man driving the wrong way on a road, on a lawnmower whilst drinking a beer. Nobody can honestly say that this factual scenario isn\'t adequate to warrant probable cause for a DUI stop.The issue that is frequently discussed is the fact that the suspect was not driving a automobile or motorcycle when he was stopped for a DUI. However, under Florida Law, a person can get a DUI for riding any type of vehicle while impaired. Florida\'s DUI statute is 316.193 which states that \"1) A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment as provided in subsection (2) if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and: a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person\'s normal faculties are impaired.\"The term vehicle in Florida Statute 316.193 takes a broader approach to what is considered a vehicle. The definition of \"vehicle\" for purposes of a DUI is defined in Florida Statute 316.003(75) which states that a \"vehicle\" is \"every device, in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.\" Florida DUI laws have an extremely broad definition of the word \"vehicle.\" The definition of vehicle can include a bicycle, a tricycle, a scooter, a horse drawn carriage along with, as we now see, a riding lawnmower. If an individual is in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state and that individual is drunk, that individual is guilty of a DUI.

Michael Dye and Daniel Rosenberg are Broward County DUI Attorneys practicing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For further information, please visit the firm websites by clicking the following links: Michael Dye: DUI Attorney Danny Rosenberg: Broward County DUI Attorney.

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