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Can you get a DUI for operating a segway while intoxicated?

Seattle, WA |

I have heard that you can get a DUI for riding a bike intoxicated... could you ever get one for driving a segway or something similar while intoxicated as well?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Assuming you were "under the influence" the answer hinges on whether this is a "vehicle" under the statute and whether it was being operated on a "public roadway." Although the caselaw leaves some gray area in the law, a segway probably meets the definition of a "vehicle" under the DUI law. I have successfully argued that a motorized scooter was not and was not so successful trying to apply this argument to a small electric motorcycle. Probably depends on the court, but most judges will probably rule that it is covered in the statute. "Public roadway" is very broadly defined would include almost any path or roadway potentially accessible to the public. Thus, the answer is probably yes and you probably wouldn't be the first to be arrested for riding a segway under the influence.

The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.

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Posted

Yes. Under Washington law, it is unlawful to drive a vehicle while intoxicated. The definition of "vehicle" under the Revised Code of Washington includes " ...every device capable of being moved upon a public highway and in, upon, or by which any persons or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, including bicycles." A Segway would fit the definition as a device, upon which a person may be transported.

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Posted

Because a Segway is a Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device under Washington State law it is not a motor vehicle. The DUi statute only applies to teh operation of motor vehicles. So no a person could not be charged with DUI for operating this device while intoxicated. However, operating that device or any other while intocxicated could lead to charges of reckless endangerment, negligent assualt or worse. Be careful out there so that no one gets hurt!!!

As of July 1, 2011 the Washington law changes. The Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device is expressly defined as not a vehcile nor a motor vehcle. Please see Senate Bill 5061 referenced below.

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Howard Stanton Stein

Howard Stanton Stein

Posted

I should note that there is no case law on this point and certain motorized bikes have been charicterized as motor vehicles. sot hte untlimate decision on whether a Segway is a motor vehicle will be decided by the court

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