Drunk driving, under the Texas Penal Code, encompasses the intoxicated operation of any “motor vehicle” in a public place. Typically, this is taken to mean a car, pickup, SUV or another such vehicle. DWI charges are also potentially issued, though, for those who operate other types of motor vehicles. For instance, a Texas man was recently arrested and charged with DWI after crashing his golf cart and critically injuring his passenger.
The victim reportedly fell out of the cart and struck his head on concrete and wounded his head. Police discovered upon investigation that the driver had been drinking. As a result, the driver faces DWI charges. The incident is fairly standard DWI fare other than the fact that he was driving a golf cart.
According to DrivingLaws.org, most states permit drunk-driving convictions involving golf carts. Texas is one of those states, and folks need to be aware of that before hopping behind the wheel. A related issue is that of Segways-you know, those odd-looking self-propelled stand-up contraptions that have gained popularity in recent years.
The issue of DWI charges involving a Segway is not as established as golf carts, though a Minnesota court of appeals has ruled that DUI charges cannot be issued in connection with the use of a Segway. Even if one isn’t charged with DWI for operating a Segway while intoxicated, though, other intoxication-related charges may be issued. Accordingly, it is best to be safe.
Those facing DWI charges in whatever circumstances, of course, should work with an experienced attorney to ensure they build a strong defense case and are able to take advantage of all available protections.
Source: KHOU.com, “Galveston Police: Golf cart driver charged with DWI after passenger critically injured,” June 30, 2014.