People associate the act of drinking and driving with vehicles like cars, trucks, or minivans, so when news comes out about someone who decides to drink and drive on some other type of vehicle – from snowmobiles to power wheels, it’s labeled under unusual and some people might even consider it funny.
But no matter what type of vehicle you’re in, drinking and driving isn’t funny, and as a young California man recently found out, it can get you in a lot of trouble. On New Year’s Day he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) after he took off in a Rose Bowl golf cart and headed out onto the busy 210 freeway in Pasadena. His goal was to get to the other side of Pasadena, but he was reported by multiple calls to police and was stopped long before he reached his destination.
He’s not the first person who has decided to skip the car or truck and drink and drive on some other type of vehicle and he certainly won’t be the last, but California DUI laws are slated to tighten up within the next year if a new bill making interlock devices mandatory passes, and the penalties for DUI will be even more severe for everyone.
As of right now, if you’re charged with DUI in California you’ll receive up to six months in jail, fines up to $2,600, driver’s license suspension of up to 10 months, and the possibility of an interlock device for a period of time as determined by the judge. If you’re a repeat DUI offender, it’s mandatory to install an interlock device.
Some areas of California have been taking part in a pilot program that make interlock devices mandatory for all offenders, and a bill has been proposed to make permanent changes to the state’s interlock device laws. If passed a first offender will be required to install an interlock device for a period of six months. If they drink and drive again, they’ll receive an interlock device for a year.
Time will tell if the new bill passes and California becomes a state requiring ignition interlock devices for all offenders. Unfortunately you can’t install an ignition interlock in recreational vehicles like golf carts, but the roads will still be safer for everyone who drives on them.