Most of us know the typical and straightforward methods that can lead to a DWI citation. Heading home inebriated after departing a bar is an express route to legal issues. Getting apprehended while engaging in careless driving under the influence can have more severe repercussions for the perpetrator. However, a DWI arrest isn’t just restricted to driving a vehicle. Let’s delve into these less-known situations that could result in facing a DWI charge in court.
Arrested For DWI While Your Vehicle Is Parked
It may come as a revelation to many drivers, but being charged with a DWI while in a parked car is indeed plausible. Most state DUI/DWI laws prohibit drivers from “operating” or maintaining “actual physical control” of a vehicle while impaired. You can be handed a DWI charge even if your car hasn’t moved an inch.
While state laws differ, most mandate juries to scrutinize the “totality of the circumstances” to ascertain whether the driver was operating or had physical control of the car. Essentially, the jury needs to consider every single detail pertinent to the case. These frequently include:
- The location of the keys
- Whether the driver was conscious or asleep
- The car’s positioning
- The driver’s position
- Whether the car’s engine was operational
For instance, when evaluating the car’s position, a jury is likely to empathize more with drivers whose vehicles are parked in their own driveway compared to those found on a sidewalk. Furthermore, a driver is more susceptible to conviction if the car key is in the ignition or within arm’s reach.
It’s Possible To Receive A DWI While Riding A Horse
Is a horse deemed equivalent to a motorized vehicle? In nearly every state, the regulations for operating a motor vehicle under the influence also pertain to riding a horse and carriage. While inebriated horseback riding may not lead to a DWI in certain states, most states regard driving a horse-drawn carriage while intoxicated as a DWI violation.
Even though buggies lack engines and are not classified as cars, they are still recognized as road vehicles in the majority of jurisdictions. There’s a risk of fatal accidents involving a horse and buggy, and this risk escalates with alcohol consumption. A dwi defense lawyer will advise you to avoid your horse if you’re planning to consume alcohol. Failure to do so could potentially result in a DWI charge if law enforcement officers intervene.
Navigating Water Vessels While Intoxicated
Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol, often referred to as Boating Under the Influence (BUI), is a law recognized across all states. This law doesn’t just apply to those operating motorized watercraft like boats or jet-skis while intoxicated. It extends to individuals controlling non-motorized recreational watercraft such as water skis, kneeboards, wakeboards, among others in several states.
The existence of laws governing drinking and driving is rooted in the need for safety. Impairment from alcohol can significantly reduce reflexes, reaction time, and physical coordination when driving. Whether it’s in a car or on a bicycle, private or public areas, or even on waterways, being under the influence of alcohol while operating any vehicle is consistently risky.
Biking While Intoxicated
In numerous states, if you drink and bike, you could be hit with a DWI due to their broad-spectrum DUI/DWI legislation. Were you aware that legally, a ‘vehicle’ is described as “any apparatus that can traverse a public road or transport people or possessions”? This suggests that if it’s rideable, there’s a possibility of receiving a DWI for it.
Managing Agricultural Machinery
A good number of farmers might confess to sipping a cold drink while operating their tractors out in the fields. Sadly, this behavior could lead to them serving time in prison. The laws surrounding driving under the influence apply to all types of motorized vehicles.
It is common for farmers to traverse public roads to travel between different fields. It’s crucial to understand that operating farming machinery on these public roads while under the influence is considered a DWI offense.
The objective of laws that ban drinking and driving is to ensure public safety. The scope of DWI charges extends beyond cars, encompassing different types of vehicles like tractors, stationary vehicles, bicycles, and even horses. The repercussions for a DWI are dictated by the specific circumstances and the respective state’s DWI regulations. It’s highly likely that you’ll be summoned to court, face license suspension, and be subject to fines. Establishing a solid relationship with a skilled DWI attorney can be beneficial to your case when confronted with a DWI.