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Drunk Segway Riders Get the Green Light

Segway DUIs don't count, rules a Minnesota court.

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By May Wilkerson

01/23/13

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In Minnesota, those who've had a few drinks are legally permitted to get behind the "wheel"—of a Segway, the state Court of Appeals has ruled. Mark A. Greenman, 48, was charged last February with driving while intoxicated after officers pulled him over on his Segway with a blood alcohol level of 0.19—more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. But the charges against him have now been dismissed on the grounds that a Segway (a two-wheeled, standing scooter) is not a "motor vehicle," which is defined by law as "every vehicle which is self-propelled," excluding "an electric personal assistive mobility device." In the ruling, Judge Margaret Chutich wrote: "Had the Legislature intended to prohibit drivers from operating Segways while under the influence of alcohol, the Legislature could have included a specific provision proscribing that conduct, as it has done in so many other instances." This was Greenman's second SUI; he was also charged with drunk scootering in 2010, but that case was also thrown out. "I think the court got it right," says Greenman. "I think that if people want to take the Segway to the bar, they can do that now. And I think they always should have been able to."

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