Golf Carts Fall Under DWI Law
Occasionally, you may read a story about someone who was charged with driving while intoxicated after a crash involving a golf cart. Because the vehicle is normally used for recreational purposes, it is common for people driving golf carts to also enjoy a few drinks. Driving a golf cart while intoxicated does not seem the same as driving a car because of the smaller size and power of the vehicle. However, Texas law treats it as a crime if you are caught.
Using Golf Carts
DWI laws apply to golf carts because Texas law classifies them as motor vehicles. Their use is regulated in different ways than a normal motor vehicle:
- Golf carts do not need a license plate or proof of insurance;
- A golf cart driver needs a driver’s license only when driving it on a public street;
- Golf carts may be driven on public streets only within a gated community or on roads near a golf course; and
- Golf carts are not allowed on streets with speed limits exceeding 35 miles per hour.
Police are unlikely to notice the activity of golf cart drivers on private properties or within gated communities. Golf carts will draw police attention if they are driven on roads where they are not allowed. Police may conduct a well-being check on the driver because golf carts are more vulnerable than normal vehicles. However, police are more likely to discover a golf cart DWI because of a vehicle accident. Though golf carts are slower than normal vehicles, they can still be dangerous if driven on unsafe terrains or in a reckless manner. Police at the scene of an accident will check for the presence of alcohol.
The same blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.08 applies to golf carts as with any other motor vehicle. The punishment for a conviction is also similar:
- DWI with a golf cart is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of as much as $2,000 and as many as 180 days in jail;
- DWI with a BAC of 0.15 or higher is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of as much as $4,000 and as long as one year in jail; and
- Penalties are more severe if the DWI incident results in injuries.
A DWI charge for driving a golf cart may rely heavily on witness testimony because police are unlikely to immediately be at the scene. A San Antonio DWI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock can contest the DWI charges against you. Schedule a free consultation by calling 888-726-5625.