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Man Arrested for Drunk Driving While Driving a Motorized Bar Stool

A man in Ohio was arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI, but in Florida referred to as driving under the influence of alcohol, or DUI) for driving a bar stool that was rigged with wheels and a lawn mower engine, according to an article on NYPost.com. The police responded to a call that the driver wrecked the bar stool and was injured. When they arrived, the police noted that the driver was intoxicated from alcohol. Apparently, the defendant made the mistake of telling the police officer that he had chugged 15 beers prior to driving.

This is obviously a unique example of a DUI arrest, but it does illustrate the point of what can be considered a “vehicle” under the Florida DUI laws. The Florida DUI statute says that it is a crime to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle: 1) while being under the influence of alcohol or a chemical substance to the extent that one’s normal faculties are impaired, or 2) with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more. The definition of a “vehicle” under the Florida DUI laws is not often an issue in a DUI case, but it does come up occasionally. A vehicle is defined as any device by which a person or property may be transported upon a highway, except devices that exclusively use rails or tracks. Under this broad definition, it would seem that a rigged, motorized device that can move a person on the road would qualify as a vehicle for the purposes of the DUI laws in Florida.