DWI on a Motorized Barstool

6 Apr

Under Minnesota law, https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=169A.03, for the purposes of DWI, https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=169A.20, a motor vehicle essentially is anything that is self-propelled.  Newark, Ohio resident Kile Wygle found this out the hard way when he took his motorized barstool around town for a spin, the story of which you can find almost anywhere, including http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2009/03/31/2009-03-31_bad_idea_drink_15_beers_and_then_take_yo.html, http://www.startribune.com/nation/42182842.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiacyKU7DYaGEP7vDEh7P:DiUX, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29971638/, and http://buzz.yahoo.com/article/1:jalopnik754:ce39ae119eadb5ebe53c7eb47e9a54db/Ohio-Man-Ticketed-For-DUI-On-Motorized-Bar-Stool-%5BDaily-DUI%5D


There is a Minnesota case that says the operator of a sailboat cannot be convicted for BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) unless it is proven that the operator used the motor rather than the wind to propel the watercraft.  Clearly, the legislature is aiming at the notion that motorized equipment inherently is more dangerous than non-motorized equipment.  Therefore, in most states you can be DWI on a riding lawnmower, but not a simple bicycle.


Entry by Ryan Wood. Ryan is an associate in the litigation section at Thomsen & Nybeck and practices in the areas of criminal law and general civil litigation.  Ryan has a wealth of varying experience in the field of criminal law as a prosecutor in multiple jurisdictions, and as a defense attorney handling adult, felony, white collar and juvenile matters.  He also has experience in complex civil litigation.  Ryan has directed cases through mediations, arbitrations, jury trials and the state and federal appellate courts, including oral argument, and has handled literally hundreds of court trials.  Ryan’s public service experience includes authoring materials for and lecturing at Continuing Legal Education and training seminars, serving as a law clerk to a Minnesota District Court judge and also serving as a staffer in the United States Senate.







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