Delaware bill would apply DUI penalties to off-road riding

Publish Date: 
Mar 20, 2012

DOVER, Del. - A Delaware state representative has introduced a bill that would apply the same DUI laws and penalties to off-road vehicles as the state has for cars.

State Rep. Helene Keeley says her bill would close a loophole in Delaware's driving under the influence laws. House Bill 259 proposes classifying operating riding lawn mowers, ATVs and other similar automobiles while intoxicated as the same as driving a car.

The bill would increase the penalty for drivers of "off-highway vehicles" while under the influence of alcohol on public roads or private property without the property owner's permission, from the $100 fine to the same as the state's penalties for DUI.

"They're not supposed to be driving on the road anyway, let alone drunk," Jim Seiberlich, the owner of Harbeson Cycle & Service, told the Delaware Coast Press. "I'd have to put some thought into it, but if they're going to punish them the same as driving a car, I think that's a little expensive."

The bill is assigned to the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee. It also includes a provision that anyone operating an ORV on a public road who injures another person can be charged with vehicular assault.

"You shouldn't be on the road in the first place," says Dean Scarborough, who owns Delmarva Speed and Sport in Milford. "They're not supposed to do it, but everyone does something they're not supposed to do every once in a while."

Posted by Holly Wagner

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