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DUI charges and types of vehicles

When most of us hear about a DUI arrest, we assume the vehicle in question was a car, truck or motorcycle. We may have a mental picture of someone pulled over at the side of the road, perhaps being subjected to field sobriety tests or a breathalyzer.

But for purposes of DUI law in Tennessee, the term "motor vehicle" is a pretty broad term. What other types of vehicles are included in the statue allowing someone to be arrested and charged with driving under the influence?

Golf carts, scooters, mopeds, ATVs, etc.

According to the Tennessee state statutes, the term "motor vehicle" includes a wide range of motorized conveyances; basically, if it isn't a motorized bicycle or an electric trolley, it can be considered a motor vehicle in our state. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Golf carts
  • All-terrain vehicles
  • Electric or motorized scooters
  • Electric wheelchairs
  • Mopeds
  • Riding lawn mowers, tractors or combines
  • Motor homes/RVs/motor coaches

(See Tennessee Code Section 55-1-103 for more information.)

There are all sorts of scenarios where this expansive definition can come into play. A few years ago, for example, the actor Bill Murray was picked up in Sweden for suspected DUI on a golf cart.

There are also separate statutes on impaired boating.

But even if the vehicle you were on meets the definition of motorized vehicle under Tennessee law, there are still many lines of defense you can pursue with help from a strong criminal defense attorney.

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