Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.

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Man riding electric mobility scooter charged with DUI

Illinois residents usually associate drunk driving with cars, trucks and SUVs being operated by intoxicated individuals on public roads. However, being in control of any motorized vehicle while under the influence violates drunk driving laws, and this is true even if the vehicle in question never ventures onto public roads. A 48-year-old Georgia man learned this lesson on Oct. 16 when he was taken into custody for driving an electric mobility scooter in a grocery store parking lot while allegedly impaired by prescription drugs and alcohol.

Police responding to an accident in a Congers grocery store parking lot say that they observed the man driving his scooter through flowers and striking curbs. The man's scooter had been struck by a reversing SUV. They claim that it was clear that the man was impaired, and he was taken into custody on drunk driving charges after submitting to a breath test.

According to a media report, the man admitted to officers that he had taken a number of prescription drugs and consumed a pint of alcohol before venturing out on his scooter to refill a prescription. Officers say that the man was barely able to walk, and they transported him to a local medical facility for treatment.

Criminal defense attorneys may advise their clients to make no statements to police officers unless counsel is present. Feelings of remorse can lead motorists suspected of driving drunk to make statements that will later be used against them, and experienced police officers are often skillful at coaxing this kind of statement from generally law abiding individuals who have been pulled over. When their clients do make incriminating statements to law enforcement, defense attorneys may closely review police reports to see if strict boundaries established by the U.S. Constitution have been respected.

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, Conyers man gets DUI on motorized wheelchair at grocery store, Tyler Estep, Oct. 20, 2015

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