Yes, you can get a DUI on a golf cart. Under Florida law, driving any type of vehicle intoxicated on alcohol or drugs is illegal. For this reason, law enforcement officers may arrest and charge golf cart drivers for driving under the influence (DUI).
A DUI on a golf cart is a serious offense, and there can be severe consequences. A DUI lawyer with our firm can minimize the effect of your charges on your life.
What do Florida Statutes Say About Golf Cart DUIs?
Florida law recognizes golf carts as motor vehicles. As such, golf cart operators are subject to the same DUI laws as other motorists driving within the state.
In addition, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) states that golf carts modified to travel between 20 and 25 mph are low-speed vehicles (LSVs) and can get licensed and insured to operate on public roadways. Golf carts that travel on municipal, county, and state roads are subject to the same traffic laws as all vehicles that do so.
Golf carts that cannot go above 20 mph must remain on private property and private roadways. So, if you’re hit by a golf cart traveling at 20 mph on a public sidewalk, you could have a case against the negligent party.
To consult with an experienced golf cart accidents lawyer today, call 855-780-9986
When Can a Law Enforcement Officer Arrest You for a Golf Cart DUI?
Law enforcement officers can charge any golf cart driver who breaks traffic laws or drives erratically with a DUI if they are above the legal limit. 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.
- You are driving an unlicensed, uninsured golf cart on public streets.
- They have other probable causes to pull you over (such as a broken taillight).
If the law enforcement officer did not have a valid reason to pull you over, we will address this during your defense.
Florida Is an Implied Consent State
Once the officer pulls you over, they may request you take a field sobriety test, such as a breathalyzer test. If you refuse either of these tests, 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 level (BAC) of .08 percent or greater.
Can You Get Arrested for a Golf Cart DUI on Private Property?
It is less likely that a police officer will pull you over for a DUI on a golf cart on a private golf course or privately owned property. However, if you cause an accident in a golf cart on private property and law enforcement is called to the scene, they may request sobriety tests. If your BAC level is higher than the legal limit, they could charge you with a crime.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI Conviction on a Golf Cart?
Florida Statutes § 316.193 details the penalties for a DUI conviction. Penalties vary based on whether you have a prior criminal offender record for DUI.
Penalties for a first-time 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 10 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)
Other consequences of a DUI may include mandatory DUI classes, community service, and court-ordered probation. With so much on the line, it may benefit you to consult with a criminal defense lawyer with our firm about your drunk driving charges.
Penalties Increase in Severity Based on Your Number of Convictions
The punishments for fourth and subsequent DUI convictions are even stronger. In addition, charges involving a BAC of .15 percent or higher may trigger harsher penalties. Penalties may also escalate if a DUI involves property damages or bodily harm, including death.
A criminal defense lawyer can protect you from the penalties of a DUI, which (as noted) can include fines and jail time. They can also build a robust case and fight for your future.
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What Should You Do If You Have a Golf Cart DUI Charge?
Florida classifies golf cart DUI as a criminal offense, meaning a criminal defense attorney can represent you. A strong defense could result in a dismissal or reduction of the charges against you. When seeking a lawyer, you may consider the following:
- 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
How Can a DUI Lawyer Help With Your Case?
You do not have to hire a lawyer to handle your DUI on a golf cart charge. However, doing so can take the pressure of your case off your shoulders. Our team can:
- Work with the prosecution to get your charges reduced or even dismissed (potentially helping you avoid jail time, loss of your license, and other penalties)
- Help you get released on bail or negotiate to get your bail reduced
- Analyze the evidence to determine what laws apply to your case and craft a defense
- Ensure law enforcement officers and the courts uphold your legal rights
We will discuss the ideal outcome for your case based on the facts and tirelessly work to resolve your DUI in a way that minimizes harm to you.
You have options after being charged with a golf cart DUI. We may even be able to spare you from a conviction. Keep this in mind as you decide whether to hire an attorney for your case.
Call Bogin, Munns & Munns About Representing You
Bogin, Munns & Munns counts DUI defense among our practice areas. We have practiced law 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. Contact Bogin, Munns & Munns for a free consultation. A team member can answer your questions and explain the benefits of hiring our firm. Don’t wait to take action; once the judge and jury render their verdict, it’s hard to get the decision reversed.