According to the federal laws in many states, it is considered illegal to drive a vehicle when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The charges for such an arrest are termed as driving under influence or DUI. The law is applicable to operating a majority of vehicles including sedans, trucks, and SUVs. However, such convictions or arrests can occur under varied circumstances as many modes of transport fall under the category of motor vehicle or vehicle in general as per state laws.
Many rollerbladers wonder if they can get a DUI on rollerblades. Well, technically, rollerblades do not fit the definition of a vehicle so the DUI law is not applicable to the rollerblades [source]. The federal laws in many states regarding driving when impaired or intoxicated explicitly define a vehicle as a mode of transport that operates by using a motor. For this reason, it is illegal to drive certain vehicles when under the influence of narcotics or alcohol. Any motored vehicle that you may find running on the roads including cars, mopeds, SUVs, trucks, golf carts, motorcycles, farm equipment, snowmobiles, and even lawnmowers are subject to the law.
However, sometimes people can get a DUI for the weirdest of vehicles like a wheelchair, horse-drawn carriage, an inflatable raft, or even a Christmas float. Let us explore more to know how laws do or do not apply on rollerblades.
DUI simply stands for driving under influence. A person may be charged with a DUI if operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. However, different jurisdictions or states may use different designations to define DUI under different circumstances. In some states, DUI is called Operating Under Influence (OUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Irrespective of the terminology, DUI is considered a serious legal offense and must not be taken lightly [source].
Any person operating a motorized vehicle (which can be of any type) while under the influence of narcotics or alcohol can be charged for a DUI offense. In some cases, the law may also apply to certain non-motorized vehicles such as a horse-drawn carriage.
DUI arrests can be complicated and the related issues may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction or state to state. In general, a DUI offense indicates that a person is being apprehended by a federal officer for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The arresting officer may judge the person as being intoxicated from the posture, behavior, mild inconsistencies in driving or any other reason to make an initial halt.
Sometimes, an officer may administer a test to confirm that the person is legally intoxicated. Various field sobriety tests may be performed to examine the degree of intoxication of a person. However, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tested via a breathalyzer, urine analysis, or blood test often provides a definitive indication for the measurement of levels of legal intoxication.
The standard universally accepted value for BAC is 0.08 as per federal standards to ascertain legal intoxication. However, you may find certain variations in some jurisdictions. This implies an individual displaying a BAC value of 0.08 or higher is likely to be charged and prosecuted under a DUI arrest. The BAC value of an individual is considered a definitive standard for determining if the person is legally intoxicated, and also supersedes any other measures. In other words, if a person passes all the field tests done to identify his/her sobriety but fails the BAC measure, he/she will basically be arrested immediately.
In many jurisdictions, any level of alcohol in the system of an individual during driving which may potentially impair their judgment or ability to drive can be accountable to make an arrest; even if the BAC levels are below the limit of legal intoxication. In such scenarios, the DUI offenses are charged on the basis of behavior, driving capability, and susceptibility to an accident.
Another important factor regarding DUI is that it is not limited to the consumption of alcohol. An individual can be charged for a DUI if found under the influence of other drugs or narcotics including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and illicit drugs.
Rollerblades and DUI
Technically speaking, rollerblades neither have any motor parts nor their derivatives, which excludes them from the definition of vehicles for which DUI is applicable across the nation. With that said, the definition does not completely exclude a person from being arrested while rollerblading when intoxicated. Ideally, the charges applied may not DUI but something that aligns with public intoxication.
An individual arrested for a DUI-type offense may have to serve time in prison. First-timers may be charged with a misdemeanor and then released. However, an individual may have to serve time if the BAC levels are 0.15 or above. Some jurisdictions may suspend or restrict the driving privileges of the person arrested.
By all means, the person arrested for rollerblading under the influence has the right to legally defend himself or herself. An appropriate legal representation of the case in the law court for the charges originating from rollerblading while intoxicated may even result in the charges being dropped.
What to do If You Are Arrested on Rollerblades Under Influence?
DUI laws and penalties may vary in different states. Some states may impose lesser charges against a DUI arrest for a smaller vehicle like a bicycle than a car [source]. Regardless of the vehicle you drive, if you ever get arrested for a DUI or DUI-type offense, it is advisable to contact a DUI lawyer as early as possible. Further, you should learn about your rights as well as the defenses you can have.
When Can You be Considered Under the Influence?
If the level of alcohol or drugs in your bloodstream is so high as to influence your nervous system, judgment capacity, brain, or muscles in a way that hinders your driving capability to an appreciable degree; you will be considered under the influence and charged accordingly.
What Can be Expected After an Arrest?
An individual arrested for a DUI or DUI-type offense is taken to a law court for arraignment during which the person is formally charged and allowed to plead not guilty or guilty. An attorney may suggest standard legal advice to plead not guilty, pay the bond, and get a release. An attorney can assist with the proceedings at the arraignment.
Upon conviction for any DUI-type offense, the driving license of the person is temporarily suspended for some time. For the first-timers, the duration is 90 days. In some cases, an individual may get a restricted driving license if agrees to meet certain specifications. Convicted individuals may be placed on probation, need to attend an alcohol education program, or complete a formal evaluation for alcohol/substance use disorder.
Some courts require individuals to seek treatment for substance use disorder with an intent to reduce repeat DUI offenders. Further, DUI charges may show up as a complication or embarrassment during employment. The records and ramifications for DUI-type offenses last for years. So, whether you are operating a rollerblade or skateboard, it is a good idea not to drink and drive to avoid any DUI-type charges.
What vehicles are subject to a DUI charge? The DUI laws may vary state-to-state, however, operating any of the following vehicles can be subject to a DUI offense:
⦁ Farm equipment
⦁ Golf cart
⦁ Horse-driven carriage
Is it possible to receive a DUI charge for driving something other than a motorbike or car? Several state DUI laws prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle when a person is intoxicated or is under the influence of alcohol/drugs. However, the explicit definition of the term motor vehicle may not be as clearly specified by the law itself. Therefore, the law court, at its discretion, can determine if the person was operating a vehicle that is subject to the DUI laws. The law court may examine and consider numerous factors which include:
⦁ If the vehicle under consideration is motorized. Ideally, a person can get a DUI for operating a motorized vehicle or one with a drive train while under the influence. The criteria include all mopeds, bicycles, or any other motorized vehicle.
⦁ In case the vehicle under consideration is not motor-powered such as rollerblades or horses, it is highly likely that the person will not get a DUI for riding under the influence, but the person may be charged for DUI-type offense or public intoxication offense.