Golf Carts and DUI
For purposes of a “vehicle” under NRS 484C.110 (the Nevada Drunk Driving Statute), a golf cart qualifies as a “vehicle.” Under Nevada law, it is unlawful to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while being intoxicated on a Nevada highway or any premise to which the public has access to. A vehicle is defined by law as “every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except a device moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails, or an electric personal assistive mobility device (such as a “Segway” brand personal transportation device or a motorized wheelchair). This vehicle definition is broad enough to include electric and gas powered golf carts. For DUI purposes, a golf course community and the paths within the community are a “premise to which the public has access to.” As such, if an individual is operating a golf cart and is alleged to be intoxicated or high, the driver can be arrested.
While generally speaking, drivers of golf carts are not monitored by police and do not usually face the potential of being pulled over, there are circumstances where the police could make such an arrest. If some other event, such as an altercation or accident occurs, law enforcement may be dispatched to a golf course or other area where a person is driving a golf cart, to conduct an investigation. This could lead to the officers conducting of field sobriety tests on the alleged intoxicated driver. The police officer may then ask the driver to submit to a preliminary breath test. Depending on the results of the initial investigation a police officer may ask the driver to submit to an evidentiary test, which can be done by either blood test or breath test. The results of the test can be used as evidence against the defendant – hence the term “evidentiary test.” The government will be given the results of the evidentiary test, who may then file a charge against the Defendant for Driving under the Influence.
For a first offense DUI, if the golf cart driver is convicted, he faces spending two (2) days to six (6) months. In most cases, this jail sentence is suspended, pending the completion of other court mandated requirements. A suspended sentence means that the defendant will not go to jail if the other requirements are successfully completed, and on time. The Judge may order the Defendant to serve twenty-four (24) hours to ninety-six (96) hours conducting community service for a non-profit organization. The Judge may also require the Defendant attend, and complete, a DUI School, Victim Impact Panel, and a Coroner's Class. There are separate expenses associated with these classes that the Defendant must pay out of his or her own pocket. Additionally, the Court may order the Defendant to pay between $400 to $1,000 in fines, which does not include court costs and assessments. Upon conviction, the Department of Motor Vehicles will be notified. This can lead to a ninety (90) day suspension of the defendant's driver's license. After forty-five (45) days of the suspension have been completed, the defendant can apply for a restricted license. The Defendant can face additional penalties if he or she had a blood alcohol concentration or a breath alcohol concentration higher than 0.18%, or if the driver had prior DUI convictions.
In the event the driver has a previous conviction for a DUI or related offense, the Driver could face a more serious enhanced charge of DUI Second Offense (click here for more information) or, if the event involves an injury, the driver has a previous felony DUI conviction or the driver has two or more previous convictions for DUI, this could lead to a very serious Felony charge (click here).
The circumstances of each case vary greatly. The quicker that you hire an experienced Las Vegas DUI Attorney, the quicker he can begin working on your case. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced Las Vegas DUI Attorney as soon as you can. Attorney Josh Tomsheck can begin to put this unfortunate incident behind you as soon as you have your consultation with him. He has over a decade of experience working with DUI Cases. Prior to working as a criminal defense attorney, he was a Chief Deputy District Attorney with the Clark County District Attorney's Office. This gives him the unique perspective of knowing how a prosecutor will approach the case, and knowing how to defend the allegations against you or your loved one. Mr. Tomsheck is very well respected in the Las Vegas legal community and is a member of the National College for DUI Defense and a member of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers recognizes him as a lifetime member. For his case results, please click here. For your free consultation, please contact him here today!