Do I Have to Be Driving a Car to Get a DUI? 

 December 25, 2014

By  LMW Attorneys

Everyone knows that it is against the law to operate a car while intoxicated, but how else can you get a DUI? What you may not know is that the law has a very wide definition of what is considered to be a “vehicle.” Learn about some of the reasons why you could get arrested for a DUI, even when you leave the car at home.

How Can I Get a DUI If I am Not Driving a Car?

In Florida, a person can be convicted of a DUI if they are under the influence of a substance while “in actual physical control of a vehicle.” While many consider the word “vehicle” to be a car, it can actually mean a number of different things. By law, a vehicle is considered to be an instrument of conveyance. This means that any device that can be used to transport you from one place to another is a vehicle, and is against the law to be in control of it while impaired.

What Is Considered a “Vehicle”?

There are a wide variety of devices that are considered to be a “vehicle,” both motorized and not. Just some of the objects considered a vehicle include:

  • Cars
  • Motorcycles
  • Bicycles
  • Lawnmowers
  • Golf Carts
  • Roller Skates
  • Tractors
  • Snowmobiles (not something you really have to worry about in Florida)
  • Boats
  • Farm Equipment
  • Mopeds
  • Horse-drawn Carriages

These are just some of the vehicles that could lead you to a DUI if operated while intoxicated. If you believe your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit, the best thing to do is have a sober friend drive you home or call a cab. Do not think you are safe to take yourself home just because you are riding back on your bike!

Will the Punishments Be the Same?

The charges you face when arrested for a non-car DUI will depend on a variety of factors. Where were you operating the vehicle? Did you cause an accident? Is this your first DUI? All these answers and more will influence your punishment. In some cases, you may be able to plea down to a lesser charge than a DUI. However, you can still receive the same punishment as someone charged with a DUI in a car.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a DUI, do not wait, contact Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins Attorneys at Law today. We defend all types of DUI cases, and will fight for your rights. Call LMW today at 727-478-4125 for a free consultation.