Walmart Scooter DUI

August 15, 2022 Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving/DUI, News & Announcements

When people think of DUI charges, the image that usually comes to mind is someone driving drunk and recklessly on a highway. Although that is the main type of DUI case that police see, there are plenty of other ways in which an individual can get charged with a DUI.

Florida’s laws on DUI explain that almost any type of moving vehicle is included in the statute. Even scooters and horse-drawn carriages are valid modes of transport in which a person could get charged with a DUI. The main factor is that the person is operating a moving machine while under the influence of alcohol.

In one recent case, a man was arrested for riding around drunk on a motorized scooter inside a Walmart. We will cover the details of the case, along with information on DUIs and disorderly intoxication in Florida.

What was the Incident?

Aaron Gregory, 39, was arrested and charged with a DUI, disorderly intoxication, and possession of an open container at a Walmart in Melbourne, Florida. Gregory was allegedly swerving in and out of isles, running into shelves, and nearly knocking over several customers.

Police were called to the scene, where they found a glassy-eyed Gregory. When police questioned him, they found Gregory had an open bottle of Smirnoff vodka inside his backpack, which was placed inside the basket of the scooter.

“He had glassy eyes, smelled like alcohol, and refused to take a breathalyzer test,” a Melbourne Police Officer said.

When requested to show his proof of ID, Gregory was unresponsive. The authorities had to take the man out of the Walmart and into the patrol vehicle on a stretcher. After refusing to take a breathalyzer test, the cops took Gregory into custody. He has now been booked at Brevard County Jail. Gregory faces charges for a DUI, refusal with prior citation, disorderly intoxication, and possession of an open container.

DUI in Florida – What is Considered a Vehicle?

Driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida is covered under Florida Statute 316.193. A defendant can be charged with a DUI if they have been driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illicit substances over the legal limit. It is considered above the legal limit to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

As the case mentioned above isn’t your typical DUI case, it’s important to define what exactly constitutes a vehicle in Florida. Statute Section 316.003(106) states that a “vehicle” is “every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except personal delivery devices, mobile carriers, and devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.”

The following are things that could count as a vehicle in Florida:

  • Automobile
  • Motorcycle
  • Truck
  • Trailer
  • Semitrailer
  • Truck Tractor
  • Semitrailer Combination
  • Scooter
  • Any other vehicle operated on the roads of this state, used to transport persons or property, and propelled by power other than muscular power.

To find out more about Florida’s Implied Consent Law, and how law enforcement can request and administer a breathalyzer, urine analysis, or blood test, read our page here. For general information on defending a DUI in Florida, read our page here.

Disorderly Intoxication

Florida Statute Section 856.011 defines disorderly intoxication, which is also referred to as “public drunkenness” in some states. Under the statute it states, “no person in the state of Florida shall be intoxicated and endanger the safety of another person or property, and no person shall be intoxicated or drink any alcoholic beverage in a public place or conveyance and cause a public disturbance.”

Under the statute, an intoxicated individual is someone that is “so affected by the alcoholic beverage as to have lost or been deprived of the normal control of either his/her body or his/her mental faculties or both.”

For a prosecution team to prove that disorderly intoxication has occurred, they must prove the following beyond any reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant was intoxicated while endangering the safety of persons or property; or
  • The defendant was intoxicated or drank an alcoholic beverage while causing a disturbance in a public place or conveyance.

Disorderly intoxication is considered a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. The penalties for a disorderly intoxication conviction can result in up to a $500 fine, 60 days in jail, and six months of probation. To find out about potential defenses to a disorderly intoxication charge, read our page here.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI in Florida, it is important to reach out to a skilled defense attorney in your area. Getting charged with a DUI is an extremely serious offense in the state, with harsh consequences. A criminal conviction of a DUI can lead to expensive fines, jail time, and even losing your license. Working with an experienced Florida DUI Defense attorney can help you build a strong defense to your case. Pumphrey Law Firm prides ourselves on the tireless work we put in for our clients across the state of Florida. For a free consultation call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today.  

Written by Karissa Key

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