The Court applied a common sense approach. Where do we draw a line as to what is a motor vehicle?
Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) January 26, 2013
The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of DWI charges made against a 48-year-old man arrested for operating a Segway with a blood-alcohol level that was two times over the legal limit (Hennepin County District Court - File No. 27-CR-12-4692)
According to court documents, the man from Hennepin County was making his way home from a pool tournament less than a mile away from his place of residence when he was pulled over by the Medina city police. The Segway driver was charged for third-degree DWI, driving with a BAC of .19, and failure to operate the personal transit machine with due care. The driver, however, disputed the first two charges made against him claiming they lacked probable cause because a Segway is not a motor vehicle as defined by Minnesota law. He further asserted that he had been arrested for driving the same device back a few years back, and that the court had dismissed the 2010 charge since the Segway was not recognized as a motor vehicle.
Local Minneapolis NBC News affiliate Kare 11 news interviewed Douglas T. Kans, an experienced Minneapolis DWI Lawyer of 17 years, for his opinion on the unique and much-debated Segway DWI case. According to Kans, “The court used common sense.” Like the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Kans believes that the Segway driver should not be subject to Minnesota’s DWI laws.
“The Court applied a common sense approach. Where do we draw a line as to what is a motor vehicle?” Kans asks. “Segways are not designed or meant to be driven on highways and the DWI statute is designed to protect drivers on highways and roadways.”
The appellate court indeed made it clear that the Segway is not to be considered a motor vehicle. Drivers of the personal mobility device should adhere to pedestrian traffic rules, as the battery-powered device runs at approximately 12 miles per hour and is mainly operated in buildings, on sidewalks, and on bike paths.
Former prosecutor Douglas T. Kans has extensive experience in the fields of DWI and criminal defense, and has successfully defended thousands of criminal cases. Kans established Kans Law Firm, LLC and currently devotes his practice exclusively to DWI and Criminal Defense throughout the State of Minnesota. He is licensed in both Federal and State Court, and is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, National College for DUI Defense, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
For more information call (952) 835-6314 or visit http://www.kanslaw.com.