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.