DUIs are not just for cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
Driving under the influence, or DUI, isn't reserved solely for the operation of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. In fact, in Florida, you can be charged with DUI on just about any means of motorized transportation, including boats, planes, and ATVs.
Recently, a man in Key West discovered that you can be arrested and charged with DUI on a golf cart. A 20-year-old was arrested in September by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, who allege the man was driving a stolen golf cart on US-1 while intoxicated, according to local news.
Florida law allows for a broad application of drunk driving charges - even in situations where no proof of cars or alcohol is involved. These rules and regulations can be extremely complicated, especially if you have never been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
Florida DUI law is broad
Under Florida law, DUI can also mean driving under the influence of other controlled substances, including illegal or prescription drugs. Criteria for the charge include:
- The driver was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle in Florida.
- The driver has consumed a controlled substance that has impaired their normal faculties, such as the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies, and, in general, normally perform the many mental and physical acts of daily life.
- The driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
A DUI conviction in Florida can lead to various consequences, including criminal penalties like fines, probation, community service, and imprisonment, with severity increasing for repeat offenses. It often results in driver's license suspension, possible installation of an ignition interlock device, and mandatory attendance at DUI school. Additionally, it can result in a permanent criminal record, higher insurance rates, and community service as part of the penalty.
Florida DUI charges include, but are not limited to:
- 1st DUI
- 2nd DUI
- 3rd DUI
- 4th DUI
- Higher BAC (over 0.15% BAC) DUI
What is considered a vehicle in Florida?
As we noted above, a person does not have to be operating a motor vehicle to be charged with DUI - many types of motorized conveyance qualify as a vehicle that may be considered for drunk driving charges.
Under Florida law, a vehicle is defined as "an automobile, motorcycle, truck, trailer, semitrailer, truck tractor and semitrailer combination, or any other vehicle operated on the roads of this state, used to transport persons or property, and propelled by power other than muscular power."
The term does not include "traction engines, road rollers, motorized scooters, micromobility devices, personal delivery devices and mobile carriers, special mobile equipment, vehicles that run only upon a track, bicycles, electric bicycles, swamp buggies, or mopeds."
Talk to an attorney about your DUI charge
In Florida, DUI charges should be taken seriously because the legal consequences for those convicted can be severe. If you are facing DUI charges in Florida, it's crucial to understand the potential outcomes and the importance of seeking legal representation.
An experienced DUI defense attorney can help protect your rights, build a strong defense, and explore potential alternatives to traditional sentencing.
No matter the type of vehicle you were allegedly operating at the time of your arrest, you need a lawyer who understands the state's legal system and will fight for your rights. Aguilar & Sieron, P.A. brings over three decades of experience handling complex DUI cases in Clay County and Northeast Florida. To see how we can help you, contact us today to review your potential legal options.