Although the majority of drunk driving arrests involve people driving motor vehicles while intoxicated, it is possible to be arrested for driving many different types of vehicles while intoxicated. People in other states have been arrested for drunk driving while at the controls of boats, motorcycles, mopeds, go-carts, Amish buggies, snowmobiles and, as in one recent New Jersey case, ATVs.
Officers originally responded to a report of an ATV on fire in a field behind a business in Clinton Township. They responded to the scene and found that the driver of the burning ATV smelled of alcohol. A check of his driver's license history showed that his driver's license was also suspended. New Jersey, like many other states, aggravates charges for people arrested for related subsequent offenses. People arrested for driving on a suspended license receive additional jail time and fines and if that suspension was due to DUI convictions, the penalty can more than double.
In addition to showing how criminal charges can stack up, this case also illustrates the fact that other types of vehicles than cars can lead to DWI charges. New Jersey law states that a motor vehicle is a self-powered device that can be used on the terrain. Under this definition, bicycles and boats would not be defined as motor vehicles but mopeds, go-carts and snowmobiles, as well as cars, would be. This is significant because there have been cases where people who thought that they were too drunk to drive a car drove their go-carts or scooters to and from the bar. They apparently didn't drive those vehicles well, either, and were arrested for DWI anyway.
New Jersey residents hoping to avoid being arrested for DWI are advised to use a taxi or a designated driver instead of driving non-traditional vehicles.
Source: Hunterdon Review, "ATV in flames leads to drunk driving charge in Clinton Township," Oct. 25, 2012