Yes, You Can Get Thrown in Jail For Drunk Driving a Golf Cart at Texas Motor Speedway

DrunkenGolfCart.jpg
Via.
Officer Jennifer Bell and Corporal D.J. Lusty remember the night of April 9, 2011 quite clearly. The Fort Worth cops were working off-duty traffic jobs at Texas Motor Speedway following the Samsung Mobile 500 when Bell spotted a golf cart driving on the grass. She watched as the cart laden with three grown men weaved between idling cars lined up to leave the parking lot, then almost run over a person walking by. The cart almost hit Bell, too, as she ordered the driver to stop and grabbed at his arm as he passed. Lusty caught sight of the cart after his colleague radioed for help. He caught a glancing blow on the arm as they ignored his orders to stop.

The three men might have escaped had the golf cart been equipped with a more powerful engine. As it was, Lusty jogged beside the cart, at first attempting to steer it into the fence, then just jumping onto the back. "What's the problem, officer?" the driver, soon IDed as Donald Lewis, asked.

Lewis and his friends remember the night somewhat differently. They had been driving the golf cart through the parking lot, sure, but they hadn't known they were in trouble with the police. Each said he thought Bell was a lowly parking attendant chiding them for driving on the grass. And Lewis insisted they had never come close to hitting anyone, just "the dude that jumped in the way." Which happened to be Lusty.

Lusty was eventually able to stop the fleeing golf cart with the help of a four-wheeler-driving TMS employee. Lewis went on to fail a battery of field sobriety tests and blew in the neighborhood of .16 on the breathalyzer. He was arrested and ultimately convicted for DWI and acquitted on an evading arrest charge.

The case didn't quite end there. Lewis appealed his conviction, claiming that the state's definition of "vehicle" for the purposes of DWI offenses was too broad. State law says it's a crime to drive any "device in, on, or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a highway." As prosecutors explained at trial, this could include a horse and buggy, bikes, skateboards, mopeds, tractors and, yes, golf carts.

The appeals court has come down on the side of the prosecutors. In a decision handed down on Thursday, a three-judge panel ruled affirmed Lewis' conviction.

They really don't address the issue of whether drunkenly operating a golf cart -- or a horse and buggy or a skateboard -- should qualify as DWI. Lewis didn't raise his objections during his trial, they explain, so they can't be considered now in his appeal. Their language is charged with their evident glee of tackling a case of such vital import.

Maybe one day some drunken skateboard-riding legal crusader will bring a heftier challenge and ultimately narrow the scope of the law. Lewis is not that person.

(h/t Liberally Lean)

My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
bcscott2000
bcscott2000

I've actually call ed the DPD when someone outside my office was randomly firing off the a handgun outside the window of their parked car in the parking lot of my business. The dispatcher asked if those were gunshots... she could hear them over the phone. DPD arrive 50 minutes later. If you are in Dallas... conceal and carry... shoot first ask questions later. You WON't get help from the DPD! FYI... I can tell you several experiences just like this one. Not my only lack of experience with the DPD not showing up!


Micheal Scheel
Micheal Scheel

Not at the Cowboy golf range. It's a nice druve.

Teyshablue
Teyshablue

Great.  Now I have to get a caddy/designated driver.  Thanks Obama!

Debbie Bush
Debbie Bush

The Dallas police have nothing better to do? How many golf cart fatal accident have anyone seen are read about on the news. If a Texas judge had been driving the cart are a passenger in the golf cart they would have just got out of the way and laugh

alteredjustice
alteredjustice

Can you kill someone with a golf cart by driving drunk in it (or a horse or bike, for that matter)? Yes? Then why should it not be a vehicle?

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

Should have used the I was on private Property  defense ? Sure seems to work when a crash happens !

Tyler Satchwell
Tyler Satchwell

Having driven a golf cart through the green meshing they have around golf courses before myself.. I can confirm this is true.

Rikki Rincón
Rikki Rincón

You can get arrested and thrown in jail for basic public intoxication at any bar, lounge, public event on the spot, no driving needed. Just FYI

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Teyshablue 

Funniest thing I've read all day.

It would have been run-of-the-mill humorous, but the "Thanks Obama!" just shot it right out of the park.

*applause*

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...