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South Carolina's DUI laws encompass more than passenger vehicles

When a person hears the phrase "drinking and driving," he or she might imagine drivers in control of a car or truck after having consumed alcohol. Interestingly, however, South Carolina law may see the situation a little differently. In fact, the term "motor vehicle" may be more broadly defined than some people might expect.

Given that summer has essentially arrived, people may be more inclined to ride bicycles, scooters or mopeds. Although it may not seem like a bicycle is in the same category as an SUV, bikers could be charged for driving under the influence.

As you may recall, we discussed similar issues in an article on our firm's website. A South Carolina man had been arrested and charged with a DUI for operating a tractor. In this discussion, the statutory definition of "motor vehicle" became crucial. Essentially, any device on the road that is operated by a human could be construed by law enforcement officials as a motor vehicle in terms of DUI laws.

Another important reminder for the summer, as we've also discussed, is that there are laws that apply directly to the operation of watercraft under the influence of alcohol. Although the boating under the influence statute is separate from the state's DUI law, similar standards and penalties are applied.

People may simply be trying to be safer by riding their bike after having a few alcoholic beverages, since a bicycle is much less imposing than a passenger vehicle. The unfortunate reality, however, is that this attempt to be proactive could still be punished under the law.

To find out more, please see our firm's DUI defense page.

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