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Two people ride on a scooter in the city at night.In Florida, a DUI can be received on almost any vehicle, including an electric scooter.  Florida’s DUI law is found in Florida Statute 316.193, which reads in relevant part, “A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state.” 316.193 Fla. Stat.  So what does vehicle mean and what does it include?

What Is a Vehicle Under Florida DUI Law?

The term vehicle is defined in Florida Statutes § 316.003.  According to § 316.003 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].  § 316.003, Fla. Stat.

Unfortunately, this definition leaves us wanting more explanation, so the definitions of the items listed are below as well as an opinion of the Florida Atty General.

Florida Attorney General Believes Motorized Scooters (Electric Scooters) are “Vehicles!”

In 2003 the Florida Attorney General was asked if motorized scooters were exempt from the definition of “vehicle.”  Although the Attorney General’s opinion is not law, Courts often look to the Attorney General’s opinion for guidance.  The Florida Attorney General opined that, Motorized scooters are not exempted from the definition of “vehicle” in F.S.A. § 316.003(75) Florida Op.Atty.Gen., 2003-44, Sept. 25, 2003.

Next we look at the definition of personal delivery device and Mobile Carrier.  Both have very similar definitions:

F.S.A. § 316.003 (58) Personal delivery device.–An electrically powered device that:

(a) Is operated on sidewalks and crosswalks and intended primarily for transporting property;

(b) Has a weight that does not exceed the maximum weight established by Department of Transportation rule;

(c) Has a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour; and

(d) Is equipped with technology to allow for operation of the device with or without the active control or monitoring of a natural person.

F.S.A. § 316.003 (43) Mobile carrier.–An electrically powered device that:

(a) Is operated on sidewalks and crosswalks and is intended primarily for transporting property;

(b) Weighs less than 80 pounds, excluding cargo;

(c) Has a maximum speed of 12.5 mph; and

(d) Is equipped with a technology to transport personal property with the active monitoring of a property owner and primarily designed to remain within 25 feet of the property owner.

An Electric Scooter is a Vehicle under Florida Law

Since we have determined that an electric scooter is a vehicle under Florida law, we can now answer the question in the affirmative.  Yes, you can get a DUI if you are driving or in actual physical control of an electric scooter within this state.

If you were arrested for a DUI while riding a scooter in Florida, contact the Orlando Criminal Team. Our skilled Orlando DUI defense attorneys are board-certified experts.