Some Important Lessons for Avoiding a DWI on Cinco de Mayo
Did you know that on Cinco de Mayo, you are celebrating the Mexican Army’s defeat over the French at the Battle of Pueblo?! In reality, Cinco De Mayo has become a day to celebrate Mexican heritage, and for many, to consume margaritas. As many of you have learned the hard way, tequila can lead to some poor decision making. After a few margaritas, and possibly a shot or two (with salt and a lime of course), drinking and driving may seem more appealing to you than it normally would. Just as you may not have known Cinco De Mayo is a celebration of an 1862 battle between Mexico and France, you may also be unware that driving your car is not the only way you could pick up a DWI today.
Most people believe the only time they are at risk of a DWI is when they are driving their car. This is incorrect. Minnesota Statute § 169A.20 makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, or a controlled substance. “Motor vehicle” is a broad term that encompasses more than just your car. Minnesota Statute § 169.011 defines motor vehicle as “every vehicle that is self-propelled and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires.” Under this broad definition, you could get a DWI for driving any of the following: snowmobiles, dirt bikes, boats, motorized scooters, ATVs, even a riding lawn mower.
While at first glance the definition of motor vehicle appears to be broad enough to encompass bicycles, Minnesota Statute § 169.011 carve an exception out for vehicles “moved solely by human power.” So have no fear, while drinking and biking may not be the smartest idea in the world, you will not get a DWI doing so.
We hope you learned the valuable lessons this Cinco De Mayo:
- What you are actually celebrating each Cinco de Mayo; and
- Avoid taking your riding lawn mower to and from the bar tonight.
We love margaritas as much as the rest of you, but if tequila brain takes over and you start thinking that driving tonight is a good idea, try to remember this blog.