Golfers, this is for you. A motorized golf cart is considered a “motor vehicle” under California law, and if you operate one after you’ve been drinking, you could be charged with DUI.
It’s hard to believe, but it happened to Jeffrey Rose, 35, of La Quinta, who was arrested January 19 on suspicion of DUI at the La Quinta Resort/PGA West Club House.
A drunken passenger fell out of the cart while it was moving; further investigation revealed the driver of the cart was also intoxicated. The passenger was taken to a hospital as a precaution, and Rose was booked into the Riverside County Jail in Indio and released later on $2,500 bail.
While California DUI law requires a person to drive a “vehicle” for a DUI to be charged, California Vehicle Code Section 670 defines a “vehicle” as “a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.” That’s a broad definition. In recent years, people have been charged with DUI for operating golf carts, mopeds, tractors, and Zamboni machines. In other states, DUI charges have been leveled at people riding horses, bicycles, adult trikes, ATVs, and in one instance, an Amish horse-and-buggy.
If you’re charged with DUI in California – whether you were driving a golf cart or an 18-wheeler – speak immediately with an experienced California DUI defense attorney. A good DUI defense lawyer can assess the charges against you, interview eyewitnesses, and compile evidence for your defense.
At trial, a good DUI defense lawyer will find any discrepancies in the testimony of prosecution witnesses, any inconsistencies in the breath or blood tests, and any other factors that will strengthen your defense. Penalties can be stiff and consequences can be long-term if you’re convicted of DUI in California, so get in touch with an experienced DUI defense attorney right away.