While some draw the line at vehicles with motors, other states are a bit looser with their DUI rules. But no matter how you received your DUI you'll probably end up being required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. These 11 DUI scenarios are proof that you can’t outsmart the law since, as it turns out, you don’t actually need a car to get a DUI.
Most states require DUI tickets to be issued for operating any mode of transportation while under the influence.
1. On A Boat
Boating while under the influence of alcohol is against federal law in addition to being illegal in all 50 states. Port Authority has the same authority on water that police officers have on land, which means you can get pulled over and ticketed if they catch you out drinking and boating. So it’s best to bring a designated sober fisherman on your next trip.
2. Out Biking
In most states, drinking and biking will land you a DUI, thanks to their all-inclusive DUI laws. Did you know a vehicle is defined by the law as “including every device capable of being moved upon a public highway or by which any person or property is or may be transported”? That means if you can ride it you can get a DUI on it!
3. Riding A Segway
While several DUI tickets have been handed out to drunken Segway riders, nearly all of them were later turned in to public intoxication tickets. The Segway is still relatively new and the law is unclear regarding this vehicle. However, several states including California and Virginia have made moves to declare the Segway as a motor vehicle.
4. Riding Your Moped
As mopeds become more popular, so do moped related DUIs. It probably has something to do with the fact that mopeds are marketed on college campuses, where people have a tendency to engage in binge drinking. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, moped sales have more than doubled since the year 2000, with most sales taking place in major cities. In fact, mopeds have become so popular in metro areas that there are now moped rental stations and Madison, Wisconsin police recently issued a moped parking ordinance to keep sidewalks clear. In 2014, a Virginia man led police on a moped chase while holding a 12 pack of beer.
5. On Horseback
Yes, you read that correctly. Whether you’re riding the horse yourself or controlling the reigns of a buggy, handling horses while drinking will get you a DUI ticket or worse. In some states you will also be charged with animal endangerment and may have to turn your horse over to the state.
6. Operating A Tractor
An Aurora, Illinois resident was charged with a DUI in November 2017 after taking his tractor for a ride through a residential neighborhood. Most farmers consider their tractor to be farm equipment, but many states still consider it a vehicle. You can even get a DUI while operating on your own land if it’s not fenced in or backs up to a public road.
7. Using Your Lawn Mower
Have one of those fancy riding lawn mowers? Thinking about mowing your lawn with a beer in hand? I’d reconsider. Much like the tractor ruling, lawnmowers are also considered vehicles. The same goes for standing mowers, since they both have steering controls. Most DUI lawn mower cases happen when drunk individuals attempt to take the lawnmower out on a main road, thinking they can’t get a DUI. But they’re very wrong about that.
8. On An Electric Vehicle
Just because it doesn’t take gas, doesn’t mean it’s exempt from DUI law. You can get ticketed on an electric bike, scooter, and even wheelchair. Admittedly, this one is all about loopholes, since operating these vehicles under the influence will usually get you a public intoxication ticket. For instance, California has a separate set of laws for bikes since they don’t qualify as vehicles under state law. But taking an electric vehicle on the road or hitting a pedestrian (even if it’s on the sidewalk) can still get your charge raised to a DUI. An Ohio man once received a DUI for swerving his electric wheelchair on to the road and causing a traffic jam at 4 mph. And while California separated its bike laws, it also passed AB604 to address electric skateboards, allowing officers to issue DUIs if you get caught riding one while intoxicated.
9. Using A Snowmobile
In Minnesota, anyone with a DUI conviction must wait at least one year before being allowed to operate a snowmobile. In Wisconsin, they’re classified under the same motor branch as ATVs. So if you live in a state with a cold, snowy winter, chances are snowmobiles are part of the DUI laws.
10. Cruising In A Golf Cart
If you’ve been drinking excessively and your cart driving is a sporadic, aggressive or dangerous, you may be going home with a DUI. These tickets occur less often, however, thanks to golf courses being mostly private. But if you belong to a club they may revoke your membership even if they don’t get the police involved.
11. A Child’s Toy Car
If you thought it would be funny to ride around drunk in your kids’ Power Wheels Barbie Jeep, you were wrong. Thanks to several folks testing this one out, we now know that children’s toy cars can still get you a DUI, especially if you have a 6-pack in the back. Since these toys have a battery, they technically have power steering, which means they’ll be prosecuted as a motor vehicle.
These aren’t just written in the law books either! All of these events actually happened, with several going to court, and the judges held firm. Everyone is held to the same standards of law, even celebrity offenders. So if you’re thinking about going out drinking, a designated driver is the only safe option. If you’ve already received a DUI, you should check with your attorney or local transportation office about whether or not you need to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.