Yes, you can get a DUI on a golf cart. Though golf carts are not considered a “motor vehicle,” a drunk golf cart driver can cause harm. For this reason, law enforcement officers may arrest golf cart drivers for driving under the influence (DUI).
Police officers may typically be more lenient with golf cart drivers than other motorists, but a DUI is a DUI, and there are consequences.
What Do Florida Statutes Say About Golf Cart DUIs?
Florida Statutes § 316.003 defines a golf cart as “A motor vehicle designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes.”
Golf cart owners and operators do not face the same requirements as other motor vehicles—cars and trucks, for example. As the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) explains, golf carts do not need registration or insurance. When it comes to a DUI, though, golf cart operators can be charged the same way drivers of cars and trucks can.
When Can a Law Enforcement Officer Arrest You for a Golf Cart DUI?
A law enforcement officer may approach you as the driver of a golf cart if:
- They witness you driving on a road that does not permit golf carts
- They witness you driving erratically
- They witness you making an illegal driving maneuver
- They witness you driving while holding or drinking an alcoholic beverage
- They have other probable cause to pull you over
If the law enforcement officer did not have a valid reason to pull you over, then we will address this during your defense. Once the officer pulls you over, they may request that you take a field sobriety test. They may also ask that you take a breathalyzer test. If you refuse either of these tests, then the officer may arrest you for suspicion of DUI.
The officer may also arrest you if:
- You do not pass the field sobriety test; or
- You register a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater
To consult with an experienced golf cart accidents lawyer today, call 855-686-6752
What Are the Penalties for Conviction of DUI on a Golf Cart?
Florida Statutes § 316.193 details the penalties for a DUI conviction. Penalties vary based on whether you have prior DUI convictions. Penalties for a first DUI offense may include:
- A fine of between $500 and $1,000
- Up to six months in prison
A second DUI conviction may result in:
- A fine between $1,000 and $2,000
- Up to nine months in prison
- Mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for one year (at your own expense)
- Revocation of your driver’s license for up to five years
For a third DUI conviction within ten years of the prior DUI conviction, you may face:
- A third-degree felony on your record
- A fine between $2,000 and $5,000
- Up to five years in prison
- Revocation of your license for up to 10 years
- Mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for two years (at your own expense)
Punishments Can Be Severe, Depending on Your Number of Convictions
The punishments for fourth and subsequent DUI convictions are even stronger. Those convicted of DUI may also have to attend DUI classes and complete community service.
Convictions involving a BAC of .15% may trigger harsher penalties for the convicted. Penalties may also escalate if a DUI involves bodily harm, including death.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been Charged With DUI on a Golf Cart?
Florida classifies golf cart DUI as a criminal offense, which means that a criminal defense lawyer can represent you. A strong defense could result in dismissal or reduction of the charges against you. When seeking a lawyer, you may consider:
- Whether the law firm has experience handling golf cart DUI cases
- Whether the law firm has a record of positive results
- Whether you feel comfortable and confident during your consultation
Your lawyer will formulate a defense. They will discuss the ideal outcome based on your case facts. They may resolve your case in a way that minimizes harm to you.
You have options after being charged with a golf cart DUI. Your lawyer may spare you from a conviction. Keep this in mind as you choose an attorney for your case.
Call Bogin, Munns & Munns About Representing You
Bogin, Munns & Munns counts DUI defense among our practice areas. We have been practicing in Florida since 1979. This sort of legal experience is critical in any criminal defense case.
A DUI conviction can have lifelong consequences. Let our team fight for you. Call Bogin, Munns & Munns today at (855) 686-6752 for a free consultation. A team member can answer your question and explain the benefits of hiring our firm. Don’t wait to take action as there may be deadlines that apply to your case.