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Motorized Scooter and drunk driver in Florida Wal-Mart

Drunken Motorized Scooter driver? Say it ain't so.

When drivers think of drunk driving they usually think they have to be operating a car on a highway, street or freeway. Think again. The Associated Press recently reported that Timothy Carr of Brooksville, Florida, was arrested inside of Wal-Mart while driving a motorized scooter through the aisles. Brookes, who according to police had grabbed his alcoholic drink directly from the shelves and starting gulping it down, will be charged with disorderly intoxication and felony retail theft. Witnesses report that he was driving the motorized scooter, enjoying his drink and knocking items off the store shelves. What was Carr’s response to the allegations? He claims he couldn’t afford to pay for the drinks and that is why he stole them. Why was on the motorized scooter? What happened to the nab and grab? He must have needed some groceries too.

Proving Actual Physical Control of the vehicle (or motorized scooter)

Every day on our forum we have drivers ask why they were arrested for DUI but they were not driving a car. Whether you were on a lawn mower, motorized scooter or sitting in your car it’s critical you understand your state’s laws for drunk driving. Some states have passed laws where you can be arrested for drunk driving or under the influence even if you are not driving. Other states require there to be “volitional movement” for DUI. What if you know you cannot drive and you need to “sleep it off”? DUI attorneys suggest that you do not pull off on the side of the road where an officer is likely to come and talk to you but instead find a safe parking spot, move out of the driver’s seat, turn off the engine and remove the car keys from the ignition. Consider that most states will allow you to be arrested if they can prove you have physical control of the vehicle. Several factors increase the likelihood that the state can make their DUI case against you if: the keys are in the ignition, you are awake, your headlights on, your car is on the roadway, the engine is running and you are sitting in the driver’s seat. Drivers ask us all the time how they could have been arrested if they were not driving or they were asleep. Others have been arrested walking out of a store when they were moving towards their car. State laws vary so it is always critical to talk to a DUI lawyer, but it is not unusual for drivers to be arrested when they are sleeping in their car, when they are sitting in their car with the engine off listening to music or they are getting out of their car and someone has reported that they were seen driving. You don’t have to be doing anything as crazy as driving a motorized scooter through Wal-Mart holding your whiskey bottle and ramming grandma to find yourself facing a wide variety of drunk driving charges. Talk to a DUI lawyer if you have questions about the DUI laws in your state.
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