Governments' Lighter Side

Court bails out tipsy Segway driver

Minnesota appeals court says drunk driving on a Segway is ok

It’s ok to drive drunk in Minnesota — as long as you’re driving a Segway. A recent court ruling threw out a drunk driving charge against an intoxicated man who was pulled over while driving one of the two-wheeled personal transit machines, according to UPI.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the drunk driving charge wasn’t valid because, well, a Segway isn’t really a motor vehicle. The court said the state’s DUI statutes did not include a specific prohibition against driving drunk on a Segway.

The ruling was a victory for a man who was stopped by police in the town of Medina after officers spotted his Segway weaving in the road. The man’s blood alcohol level was found to be twice the legal limit.

No matter, the appeals court said. “Had the Legislature intended to prohibit drivers from operating Segways while under the influence of alcohol, the Legislature could have included a specific provision proscribing that conduct,” the court ruled.

The tipsy Segway driver, a lawyer who has a similar case pending, hailed the court’s decision. “I think that if people want to take the Segway to the bar, they can do that now,” he said. “And I think they always should have been able to.”

Discuss this Blog Entry 2

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 24, 2013

What about rideable mowers, motorized scooters or a Prius?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 25, 2013

He should still get a public intoxication charge... someone drunk on a bicycle or walking drunk down the middle of the street could cause a lot of damage, as could a Segway.

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Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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