Ronny Hicks, a man from Palm Bay, Florida, was arrested this week and charged with driving under the influence… while he was riding on an electric wheelchair. We have covered a lot of Weird DUI cases here on Crimcourts, from the guy in Scotland on a bouncy ball, to a man not long ago in Punta Gorda who got a DUI on a lawnmower… but this may take the cake. I personally worked on a case for a DUI on a tricycle, a few years back, and this tops it. (EDIT: No, the wheelchair coes not need to be motorized under Florida law.)
The problem with the charge is that the wheelchair is a necessary device for the man to get around. If he can’t be drunk on it… he can’t be drunk. It is a hard case to convince a jury to convict on. However, the incident happened in public, and he was apparently obstructing other people with his vehicle. Basically, any device on wheels is a vehicle under Florida law, and subject to DUI sanctions. Because this is his third offense, he could potentially be facing felony charges.
Also, hope he gets that head wound treated, though he apparently refused treatment at the time of arrest. Read about more WeirdDui cases here.