If not a regular wheelchair, how about an electric one?
More likely, you can get charged with public intoxication.
Some states (like Wisconsin) do not have public intoxication laws.
There are 50 different answers to this as each state has different laws that define what a “motor vehicle” is. In some states you can get a DUI on a horse or a bicycle, in some states you can’t. So the OP would need to specify what state they’re talking about.
I arrested a guy once on OWI for driving a gas powered golf cart down the sidewalk while drunk. Except for the PC hearing I never got called to testify at any trial so I don’t know what happened to it. He either plead guilty or the case got kicked.
Not too real long ago in Milwaukee a man was arrested for DUI for riding one of those electric scooters (the kind you see old people and fat folks riding around on in the grocery store) down the interstate while he was baked. The charge stuck.
I remembered a news story about a man getting a DUI in a wheelchair, and when I went searching for it just now I found several others.
There’s this one from GA:
There’s this one from 2004 that mentions that the woman was challenging the law that the charge was based on (I don’t know how the challenge turned out):
This one is from Milwaukee:
It’s not just restricted to America either. Here’s one from Australia:
And one from Germany:
And there are many, many more.
Like Pkbites said, it depends on the specific jurisdiction, and their legal definition of a ‘vehicle’.
In many places, you get charged either way.
- If it’s a vehicle, you are charged with operating while under the influence.
- If it’s not a vehicle, you are charged with being on the highway with an unapproved, unlicensed conveyance. (And probably also public intoxication.)
Where I am you can be charged with the equivalent on a bicycle, on a horse, on any form of transport.
There was a story around my parts about a man being arrested for DUI while operating a motorized chair that he built. I’d search for it, but considering eng comp geek’s examples are exactly what you were asking abut, and not approximations to which the same concepts should apply, I’ll refrain.
I asked a cop specifically, and he said (in Minnesota), if it’s propelled by any kind of motor, then, yes, you could get a DWI. If not, then no. (I’m sure they could find something legal-wise to get you off the streets, though, if they wanted to.)
An earlier thread that may be of interest: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=524862
I know somebody who got a DUI ticket on a bicycle.
I had a strong feeling that one could get a DUI, but thought there might be some interesting twist since the disabled are sometimes entitled to special protections. Alas, the law is blind.
Like DUI? Not likely. :dubious:
You don’t have to be disabled to ride a wheelchair.
Imho, I think this is going to be one of those “policeman’s discretion” type things. If, for example, a drunk in a wheelchair is annoying the owner of the bar, they could use it just to have a pretext to arrest the person.