Brooksville resident Timothy Carr was arrested a few weeks ago after complainants indicated he was recklessly operating a motorized shopping cart in his local Wal-Mart. If you’re gonna go for it, go all out… and Carr went for it. He grabbed an alcoholic beverage off the shelf, popped it open, and proceeded to careen around the store, knocking items off of shelves. When he was confronted, he admitted that he didn’t have money to pay for the beer, and was additionally charged with petit theft, in addition to disorderly intoxication.
I was wondering if the State would try to charge him with a DUI, but it would be a stretch to do so. First of all, the halls of Wal-Mart are not generally open to vehicular traffic, though they could conceivably try the case on an actual physical control theory. Also, a vehicle includes any device a person could be transported along a highway, so the personal assistance device exception to motor vehicles would not apply. Somebody could definitely be charged with DUI for a motorized cart (or wheelchair), but the state recognized the difficulty of proving that in the aisles of Wal-Mart.
Mr. Carr’s theft charge is more serious. Due to his prior theft convictions, the state has enhanced the charge to a Felony. He could potentially go to prison for opening a beer in Wal-Mart. He has several recent disorderly intoxication charges, so there certainly appears to be a substance abuse issue at the root of his issues. Let’s hope Mr. Carr is able to get help and move his life in a new direction. He could go to trial as soon as a few weeks from now.