Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is illegal — and most people know that. But if you think that the only way you can get a DUI charge is when you’re caught on the road while impaired, you could be in for a big (and unpleasant) shock.
DUI charges can be applied to a number of surprising situations. Let’s look at a few.
Sitting or sleeping in your car while intoxicated
Maybe you decided to sleep off the beers you had after work before you go home — and the only place to do that is in your car. Unfortunately, the law says that you can be guilty of a DUI whether you drive or “operate” a vehicle — and having the keys in your pocket puts you in control of the car even if you aren’t in motion.
Riding a lawn mower or golf cart while drunk
Sometimes people figure that they’ve found a harmless loophole in the law and want to exploit it just to have a little fun. That often takes the form of taking a golf cart or a riding lawn mower on a joyride. Your joy can turn to frustration, however, if the police spot you because anything with a motor is considered a “vehicle” under the law.
Using a moped, scooter or anything similar
Just like lawn mowers and golf carts, you can end up with a DUI if you decide to ride a moped while intoxicated or operate a scooter. This is true even if you stay on private property. The same logic applies to everything from snowmobiles to tractors. If it has an engine, you need to steer clear.
In short, it’s a lot easier to end up with a DUI charge than you may realize. If you’ve made a mistake that’s resulted in charges, the best thing you can do to protect your future is talk to an experienced defense attorney here in Virginia before you do anything else.