Can You Get A DUI On A Golf Cart In California?
Are Golf Carts Considered Vehicles In California?
Some might argue that a golf cart isn’t a motor vehicle but merely a battery-operated conveyance easing movement around the greens. Therefore, it shouldn’t be treated the same as a car. I understand the logic of this argument. However, the conclusion is problematic for several reasons. For one, California law applies DUI laws to any self-propelled transportation or conveyance. Moreover, many cars are becoming battery-operated, like electric vehicles, for instance.
Can You Drive A Golf Cart On The Road In California?
It’s worth noting that golf carts aren’t only driven on golf courses. Several communities prohibit cars, preferring golf carts. Examples include senior living communities, motor home communities, and certain island locations. Some individuals, due to financial reasons or a revoked driver’s license, opt to use a golf cart over a car. None of these scenarios are exempt from the DUI laws in California.
Can You Get A DUI On Private Property In California?
One might argue against getting a DUI on a golf course, asserting that a golf course, being privately owned, shouldn’t be subject to DUI laws. I appreciate this perspective. However, since golf courses are open to the public, they’re not deemed private. Hence, one can be arrested for DUI while driving a golf cart on a course.
How Is Intent Weighed In A California Dui Case Involving A Golf Cart?
How about intention? If you were unaware that driving a golf cart could lead to a DUI and therefore didn’t intend to commit a crime, does this absolve you? Unfortunately, the answer is “no.”
California’s DUI laws don’t demand a specific intent to commit a crime. All that’s required is the volitional act of driving a motor vehicle while impaired. Although you might argue that you only intended to drive, not realizing that a golf cart qualifies as a motor vehicle, this defense won’t stand. Simply moving the golf cart while under the influence can result in a DUI.
Could You Be Arrested For DUI Even When Not Even Driving?
What if you were impaired but only pushed the golf cart out of a sand trap, letting your sober friend drive? This seems a solid defense against a golf cart DUI. Still, technically, in this scenario, you moved a self-propelled battery-operated vehicle while impaired. Logically, DUI laws shouldn’t apply if you weren’t operating the vehicle — just pushing it.
Until next time, drive safely! If arrested for DUI, reach out to us immediately!
What Are Some Unusual Situations Where Someone Not Driving Might Be Charged With A DUI?
It’s widely understood that a DUI charge in California carries severe, life-altering consequences. To prevent DUI incidents, drivers often adopt measures like appointing a designated driver or using other transport means for events involving alcohol. Nevertheless, there are instances where individuals face DUI charges despite precautions.
If you’re in such a predicament, it’s vital to take the charges seriously. The repercussions of a guilty verdict can be dire, including a three to five-year probation, even for first-time offenders. A Westlake, California DUI probation lawyer might find avenues to reduce or dismiss these charges.
How Does A Law Enforcement Officer Determine Whether To Arrest Someone For A DUI?
California adheres to the volitional movement standard, which means a driver must have intentionally moved their vehicle to face DUI charges.
Typically, an officer might notice erratic driving. The subsequent steps generally include:
- Pulling over the driver for an interview.
- Administering a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test and field sobriety tests.
- Basing the DUI charge on the interview and test results.
- Following this, the driver is arrested and taken to the police station, jail, or hospital to compile more evidence and continue the arrest process.
Can I Get A DUI Charge If The Car Was Parked?
Imagine a situation where an accident occurred before an officer’s arrival. Witnesses saw the incident, and you had a high blood alcohol level. Under these circumstances, you could face a DUI charge, even if the officer didn’t witness your driving.
Alternatively, you could be charged with a DUI if found intoxicated in a parked car with a running engine, even if you weren’t driving. In such cases, the officer will gather evidence indicating you drove the vehicle. If no witnesses are present and the officer detects alcohol or other signs of intoxication, a DUI arrest might ensue.
Officers must obtain proof of impaired driving in potential alcohol-related accidents. This involves assessing the accident scene and interviewing witnesses.
At times, drivers might admit to driving at the accident’s time, or witnesses could identify them. Circumstantial evidence, such as a warm engine, warm tires, or keys in the ignition without a plausible explanation, can also be used to determine DUI offenses.
How Can I Get Charged With A DUI If I Was Not In My Car And I Didn’t Have My Keys?
In rare cases, you might face DUI charges even if you’re not in your car and don’t possess the keys. For instance, if your vehicle, with keys in the ignition, is found on a road near a bonfire where many people have consumed alcohol. If the vehicle engine is warm, suggesting recent use, and you’re identified as the owner and driver, an officer might administer a PAS test. Positive results could lead to a DUI charge, despite you being away from the car without keys.
In DUI cases, the onus is on the prosecution to prove you were driving. A DUI defense lawyer in Westlake, California will use the case’s details to cast doubt on whether you drove as charged.