With over 1,300 courses, Florida has the highest number of private and public golf courses of any state in the U.S. The state also hosts the PGA Tour and other prestigious tournaments. Residents and visitors alike enjoy Florida’s golf scene, but what happens when a golfer has had a few too many on the course? What if someone who has had a drink or two is driving a golf cart from their home to their local driving range?
In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at golf cart DUI offenses in Florida—and what you can do if you’re arrested for one of these.
DUI in Florida’s Golf Cart Communities
It seems almost comical: you’re driving a golf cart when you’re stopped or pulled over by a police officer. Things quickly turn serious when you’re asked how much you’ve had to drink. Then you’re asked to perform field sobriety tests and take a breathalyzer test, and you realize you’re at risk of being arrested for DUI.
In Florida, you can be arrested for driving a golf cart while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as DUI charges apply to any vehicle under Florida Statutes §316.193. If you were driving or in physical control of a golf cart while your abilities were impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, or with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater, you could face DUI charges and penalties just like any driver of a car, truck, or SUV.
While a golf cart DUI arrest is less likely to take place on a private golf course, there’s a high risk if you’re driving a cart on a public roadway. Florida’s increase in “golf cart communities,” places where residents ride golf carts throughout the neighborhood instead of cars, means we’re more likely to see this strange type of DUI charge.
The following are a few of the golf cart communities in Florida:
- The Villages
- On Top of the World in Ocala, FL
- Indian River Colony Club in Melbourne, FL
- Solivita in Kissimmee, Florida
Even people who don’t golf may own carts in these and other neighborhoods as an alternative way to get around, riding their carts to restaurants and friends’ homes or to go shopping. If any of these drivers get behind the wheel while intoxicated, the results can be serious.
Arrested for DUI on a Golf Cart? Call Thomas & Paulk, P.A.!
A golf cart is a vehicle, and this means anyone who operates one must abide by traffic laws, including those applying to drinking and driving. If you were arrested for DUI while driving a golf cart in your community, you need to think about your future. You could face serious penalties if you’re convicted, including jail time, fines, and community service. A first DUI is typically charged as a misdemeanor, but a third or subsequent offense is a felony. Felony charges may also apply if you’re accused of causing an accident that injures someone.
At Thomas & Paulk, P.A., we’ve fought for clients across Tampa and the surrounding areas for the past 20 years. We’ve seen it all. In our experience as DUI defense attorneys, we’ve gained an unmatched understanding of the law and the science behind drunk driving charges, and this means we know how to defend our clients’ rights and freedom.
A golf cart DUI arrest is serious and should be addressed immediately. We’re standing by to offer our insight and guidance, call (813) 321-7323 today for a free consultation!