Being charged with a DUI can come with some strange circumstances. In California, people have been arrested after riding horses and bikes while intoxicated. You can even be charged if you pilot a boat under the influence.
But what about skateboards, roller skates, or rollerblades? Can you get convicted of DUI in California while shredding on a skateboard? If you were recently convicted of any sort of DUI in Los Angeles, it is always the best course of action to get legal help from a Los Angeles DUI lawyer.
What Is a Vehicle in California’s DUI Laws?
Recognizing what constitutes a vehicle in California can make all the difference. It may pay to know what forms of transportation can be driven or operated while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication.
You can be arrested and charged while riding a horse because you are moving because the animal is quite literally horse-powered. But when you take to the streets on a giant bouncy ball or a pogo stick or a pair of roller blades or a skateboard, then you are propelling these vehicles using human power and do not fit into the statutes concerning California DUI laws.
The one exception to this human-powered rule is the bicycle. There is a law that deals specifically with outlawing operating a bicycle while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Skateboarding DUI Is a No-Go, but Other Issues Can Slow Your Roll
Because skateboarding is often associated with rebellion, there is another common theme among skateboarders. Another study conducted by the University of California discovered that skateboarders between the ages of 18 and 25 are arrested and charged with DUI three times more than the general population.
Skateboarding alone can be dangerous. Add in alcohol and drugs and riding under the influence severely intensifies the dangers. You can choose to climb on your deck and pop an ollie onto the rails around your neighborhood, but if the police observe erratic riding and suspect you are impaired by alcohol or drugs, you may be asked to take a breathalyzer test or other test to determine sobriety.
The type of board you are riding can determine what type of charges the police can levy against you. You may be let go with a warning, or you can be ticketed for trespassing. In a worst-case scenario, you could be arrested for disturbing the peace, public intoxication, and driving under the influence.
There are a couple of other reasons outside of the law to avoid drinking and skating, like:
- Skating while impaired can affect coordination, balance, and judgment, causing accidents and injuries.
- Skating while drinking becomes cumbersome because alcohol dehydrates the body, causing exhaustion, cramps, and a host of other issues.
What About Electric Skateboards?
In 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law allowing anyone 16 years and older to ride electric skateboards and hoverboards. However, you can only ride these e-boards on:
- Sidewalks and walking trails
- Bike paths, trails, and lanes
- Roads with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less
This law required riders to wear helmets. The boards had to have reflective gear and a light in the event that they were used at night. Because electric boards are capable of higher speeds and can pose additional risks to both the rider and those in the rider’s vicinity, riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited by law.
In 2020, new laws required helmets to be worn by riders of regular skateboards on sidewalks and public roads. Tail Lights and reflectors were also required to ride skateboards at night.
These new codes indicate violators who are convicted of breaking this law should be penalized with a maximum fine of $250. This penalty is significantly less than those convicted of a DUI in a motor vehicle like a car, truck, motorcycle, or boat. But it is still a violation and counts as a misdemeanor on your criminal record.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in Los Angeles Today
It is best to play it safe and skate sober. If you have been drinking or using any drugs, wait before climbing on your board. You can also find a ride with a sober friend or a rideshare or taxi.
If you have recently been charged with driving under the influence in Los Angeles, employing a DUI attorney is essential. A qualified attorney knows the ins and outs of California’s DUI laws and gives you the best defense possible during your administrative hearing.
A Los Angeles DUI lawyer is here for you when you need help. For more information or to arrange a consultation, please contact us online.