8 Surprising Ways to Get a DUI in Arizona That Don’t Involve Driving a Vehicle

Other (Surprising) Ways you can get a DUI in Flagstaff, AZ

8 (Surprising) Ways you can get a DUI in Flagstaff, AZ


Other (Surprising) Ways you can get a DUI in Flagstaff, AZ


Arizona’s driving under the influence (DUI) laws prohibit people from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the slightest degree, but what does that actually mean? As with all areas of law, it all comes down to how words are defined in our laws and how the courts interpret them. Previously we have discussed what “operating” means – driving down the road or in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle and what the penalties are for the tiers of DUI charges, but what is a motor vehicle? The answer may surprise you! Here are other (surprising) ways you can get a DUI in Flagstaff, AZ!

Ways to get a DUI in Flagstaff, Arizona

Arizona DUI charges and Arizona DUI penalties are geared towards protecting the public, deterring people from getting behind the wheel when they are under the influence, and punishing those who do cross that line. Arizona has some of the strictest laws and harshest punishments in the country when it comes to DUI. When people think about what a “motor vehicle” is for DUI charges, their first thought is it happens in a car or truck. Correct, but “motor vehicle” actually has a much broader definition than simply a personal use or work vehicle. 

According to the Arizona Revised Statute, section 29-101(44). “Motor vehicle” is defined as follows:

(a) Means either:

(i) A self-propelled vehicle.

(ii) For the purposes of the laws relating to the imposition of a tax on motor vehicle fuel, a vehicle that is operated on the highways of this state and that is propelled by the use of motor vehicle fuel.

(b) Does not include a scrap vehicle, a personal delivery device, a personal mobile cargo carrying device, a motorized wheelchair, an electric personal assistive mobility device, an electric bicycle, an electric miniature scooter, an electric standup scooter or a motorized skateboard.  For the purposes of this subdivision:

(i) “Motorized skateboard” means a self-propelled device that does not have handlebars and that has a motor, a deck on which a person may ride and at least two tandem wheels in contact with the ground.

(ii) “Motorized wheelchair” means a self-propelled wheelchair that is used by a person for mobility.

Kind of vague, right? So what does this definition actually mean? We break it down by vessel in the following sections so you know what does and does not qualify for a DUI in Flagstaff, AZ. 

Operating a Boat

Can you get a DUI on a boat? Yes, Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is a crime in Arizona! Under Arizona law, operating or in actual physical control of a motorized watercraft while impaired to the slightest degree is a crime. The rules and punishments mirror the motor vehicle-related laws for the roads. So here comes the definition of “watercraft” – it includes a boat, jet ski, SeaDoo, Waver-runner, or any other personal watercraft. Enjoying a weekend out in Lake Powell? Make sure you do so responsibly!

Biking (BUI)

DUI on a bike (BUI)? It depends on the bicycle you are operating! According to Arizona law, bicyclists are required to adhere to the same duties and laws as motorists. The real question is whether your bicycle falls under the definition of a “motor vehicle” – is it at all self-propelled or motor-assisted in any way, or is it a traditional bike operated solely by human power? If the bicycle you are riding has a motor, but when you were riding down the road, you were not using the motor does that then qualify as a DUI on a bike (BUI)? As you can see, it can become a factual dispute which is why it is (1) best to avoid these situations and (2) hire a DUI lawyer to help you fight if you find yourself charged with a DUI on a bike (BUI).

Riding a Moped

What about a moped? Yes, a moped does fall under Arizona’s broad definition of “motor vehicle” since it is motor-assisted. It is not all that different from a motorcycle, and even motorized scooters classify as motor vehicles for which someone can be charged with DUI. Remember to think to yourself, does this have a motor/is this vessel self-propelled in any way. If the answer is yes, do not operate it or find yourself in actual physical control of it after consuming drugs and/or alcohol.

On Horseback

DUI on a horse? No, it does not classify as a DUI because a horse is not a “motor vehicle.” But this sounds like one of the most dangerous things you could do – ride a horse while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, so definitely not something to do for your safety and the safety of others. Even though it is not an actual spelled-out crime in Arizona under the DUI laws, you could face other types of legal citations like public intoxication or animal endangerment so it’s just not worth it!

Operating a Tractor

Can you get a DUI on a tractor? Yes, a tractor does fall under the broad definition of a “motor vehicle” in Arizona. If you think about it, this makes sense. The whole concept of DUI is that we don’t want people under the influence behind the wheel of a machine that can cause destruction, injury, or death if someone is not in full control of their body and mind. Similarly, if the person operating that machine were to pass out, that “motor vehicle,” because it is self-propelled, has the risk of continuing down the road, leaving a path of destruction or worse. 

In Child’s Toy Car

Can you get a DUI in a child’s toy car? Similar to our analysis of the DUI on a bike (BUI), it depends on the structure of the child’s toy car. Is it one that is operated by pedals and solely human power? Or is it a motorized child’s toy car fueled by either gasoline like a go-kart or battery-operated? This is a factual argument as to whether or not a DUI was committed and is why if you find yourself charged, hiring a DUI attorney is crucial to fight on your behalf. The cost of a DUI attorney pales in comparison to the average DUI costs you will face if convicted of the crime. 

On a Snowmobile

Can you get a DUI on a snowmobile in Arizona? Yes, you can! It is similar to a motorcycle, motorbike, or jetski because it is a “motor vehicle” as defined by our laws. All the laws that apply to cars and trucks also apply to snowmobiles. Our society does not want people driving a motor vehicle after consuming drugs and/or alcohol as that slows their reaction time and decision-making at a minimum. The DUI defense cost is not worth it, so when in doubt, call a ride. It will always be less expensive than a DUI ticket cost!

In a Golf Cart

So many Arizonians and tourists love to golf! Arizona is a destination for golfers to visit and live in, so this is a question that frequently comes up: can you get a DUI on a golf cart? If you think golf is an expensive sport, just wait until you see the DUI ticket cost. A golf cart does classify as a “motor vehicle,” so, yes, you could get charged with DUI. Keep it safe and responsible when you are out on the golf course!

Charged With a DUI? Get a Free Consultation From us

The DUI defense cost is not worth it! The fines, potential jail time, and need for an ignition interlock device can be a major burden.

Your best course of action is to just not operate anything motorized or arguably not after you have consumed any drugs and/or alcohol. Of course, we understand things happen in life. Criminal charges can totally derail your life, and our lawyers are committed to helping our clients get their lives back on track. If you or a loved one is charged, contact us for a free consultation about how the legal team at Antol and Sherman, PC, can fight for you to deliver the best possible results.

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