The reason driving under the influence is illegal is because it is so dangerous and often deadly. One man in Detroit recently found the hard way just how dangerous it is, even in a recreational vehicle like a go-kart. San Diego DUI lawyer Peter M. Liss reminds you that driving drunk is always illegal and dangerous, no matter what the circumstances.
The Accident and the Charges
The man in question, Ollante Arvell Young, was riding in a one-seat go-kart down a public street in August. The vehicle had no mirrors and no seat belts, which means it was already dangerous to drive on a regular road, but Young also was intoxicated, making it particularly risky. Even so, he chose to let his five year-old and four year-old daughters ride in the cart with him.
Young ended up crashing into a parked car, which left his oldest daughter injured and his younger daughter dead. He was brought up on charges of child abuse and drunk driving. Most San Diego DUI attorneys agree that if the case were charged in California, the DUI would be enhanced due to the great bodily injury caused as well the fact that he had minors in the vehicle.
How Does California Define a Vehicle?
As we have discussed in the past, when it comes to DUI law, California defines a vehicle as anything not exclusively human-powered. That would most certainly include a go-kart, but also includes horses and boats. While they are not self-propelled, you can even face charges for operating a bike under the influence. The only distinction between these “vehicles” and cars, trucks and motorcycles when it comes to driving under the influence law is that you will not lose your license for operating one of these vehicles like you would normally after receiving a DUI.
California also specifically has a DUI statute for operating a motorized scooter while impaired, which carries a maximum fine of $250 and no jail time. It will be interesting to see how other non-self propelled vehicles, like go-karts, fit within California DUI laws. Most likely a go kart DUI case would be subject to an examination of engine size and speed to see where it fits in California’s DUI laws.
While roller skates, skateboards, pogo sticks and other human-propelled modes of transportation are legal to use (though still dangerous) while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, it never hurts to check with a San Diego driving under the influence attorney before using such a device while intoxicated.
If you have any questions or have been charged with a DUI, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free consultation with a top San Diego driving under the influence lawyer.
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