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Hernando County Man Charged with Golf Cart DUI
Eric Perez was stopped by Hernando County sheriff’s deputies last weekend as he drove a golf cart in the wrong direction along State Road 50 just after midnight. The cart had no lights and, according to law enforcement, Perez had a strong smell of alcohol about his person.
He reportedly predicted to deputies that he would have a hard time passing a sobriety test because he had been drinking. He was allegedly correct and was arrested on a charge of DUI. He was transported to the Hernando County jail where his breathalyzer test results indicated that his blood-alcohol levels were 0.251 and 0.242, over three times the level at which a person in Florida is presumed to be intoxicated.
As we have seen in previous blog posts, the definition of “operating” in Florida’s DUI laws is rather flexible. Similarly, the official definition of “motor vehicle” (for traffic and DUI purposes) in Florida’s statutes is wide-ranging. The statute says that a motor vehicle is “[a]ny self-propelled vehicle not operated upon rails or guideway, but not including any bicycle, motorized scooter, electric personal assistive mobility device, or moped.”
Perez’s DUI defense attorney may have several areas on which to focus his defense. Without knowing the specifics of the case – the details of the stop and arrest – it is difficult to suggest defense tactics. It does not, however, seem that a golf cart/motor vehicle defense will work under Florida law. The statute appears to be written broadly enough to cover the operation of a motorized golf cart.
Depending on Perez’s specific criminal history, he either faces a misdemeanor charge or may face enhanced charges if he has had previous DUI convictions.
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