DUI and Driver License Suspension

A person who operates a 'minitruck' on State Fairgrounds while intoxicated is subject to license suspension. Shirley v. K.D.R., No 103,317 (Kan. App. Dec. 10, 2010) (Green).

Under the facts of this case, a 'minitruck', which is a 1,400 pound device with a 45-horsepower engine capable of going up to 60 miles per hour, fits within the plain meaning of the definition of a vehicle under K.S.A. 2006 Supp. 8-1485.

On September 16, 2006, Shirley was driving himself in a minitruck on the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kansas, when he was stopped by Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Walker. When Trooper Walker stopped Shirley, Shirley had an 'odor of alcohol on his breath, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. ' Shirley admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages and failed sobriety tests. Shirley was arrested and submitted to a blood test with a result of .16 grams per 100 milliliters of blood.

In affirming the Suspension of his Drivers License, the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled that a 'minitruck', for which no license is required to operate and which cannot be legally operated on a public highway, is indeed a 'vehicle' for administrative purposes. In addition, the Court further affirmed the legality of suspending Shirley's license for operating the 'minitruck' on the premises of the State Fairgrounds, as opposed to on the streets or highways, while under the influence of alcohol, as a violation of the Kansas implied consent law.

This ruling reflects the continuing trend regarding DUI enforcement and court rulings; if you get behind the wheel of anything that moves, you are subject to prosecution if you are judged to be impaired or intoxicated while operating or attempting to operate that vehicle. I do not know of anyone yet charged with DUI while riding a horse in Missouri or Kansas, but I would not be surprised to see this issue arise sometime in the future.

We represent people charged with DUI in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. If you find yourself in need of legal counsel, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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