When most people think of drunk driving, the image of an intoxicated person behind the wheel of a car comes to mind. While it’s true that the majority of DUI and DWI convictions in the U.S. involve people who were operating cars, trucks, SUVs and other motor vehicles, it’s not unheard of for someone to face such charges even while operating other types of motorized conveyances. When it comes to using a skateboard while intoxicated, however, the odds of being arrested for DUI or DWI are exceedingly slim. The odds of being convicted are slimmer still.
According to laws in most states, a person can be charged with DUI or DWI if he or she is operating a vehicle or motor vehicle. In some cases, these terms are defined in great detail. For example, the law may state that a vehicle is any conveyance that runs on a motor. Therefore, cars, motorcycles and mopeds all qualify, but vehicles without motors, including bicycles and skateboards, do not.
In other states, a vehicle or motorized vehicle is one that has a drivetrain. Under that definition, then, a person can technically be arrested and even convicted for operating a bicycle while under the influence. Skateboards don’t have drivetrains, of course, so the law does not apply to them under these circumstances, either.
Just because someone can’t be charged with DUI or DWI for using a skateboard while intoxicated doesn’t mean he or she can’t be arrested. If the individual is breaking public intoxication laws or other statutes, he or she may still be taken in to custody. Furthermore, an officer may choose to arrest someone using a skateboard for DUI or DWI. The case will most likely be thrown out in court, but it is still within the realm of possibility.
Even though it’s not illegal to operate a skateboard while intoxicated, it is still possible to be arrested for doing so. If this has happened to you, protect your rights by contacting an experienced and competent lawyer.