Man Gets DUI After Crashing Motorized Barstool: Can Any Vehicle Qualify for a DUI?

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By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on April 01, 2009 8:59 AM

What do you get when you weld a barstool to a metal frame, add some wheels, and top it off with a lawnmower engine? Odds are you probably didn't guess a DUI, but that's exactly what 28-year-old Kile Wygle of Ohio received after he crashed his "vehicle", reported CNN.

Only its picture does the contraption true justice, but it's true justice that Wygle is looking for now.  He has asked for a jury trial on a charge of driving under the influence. In his own words, "It was just an accident. I mean a little minor accident", and he claims that he was not driving a "vehicle".

The Columbus Dispatch described one witness's account:

"From his window, the 66-year-old Konink then saw something buzz down Kelley Lane in Newark.

'I knew it was something strange, and then it was gone,' he said. 'It was too fast.'

Newark police say that Konink saw a neighbor riding a motorized bar stool shortly before the man wrecked while trying to make a U-turn."

The Dispatch added that "[b]ar-stool racing appears to be popular in Wisconsin and some other parts of the country, and motorized bar stools are available for purchase online."  With this in mind, perhaps it would be a good time to clarify that a huge variety of vehicles can have DUI laws applied to them, but the laws do vary from state to state. In some states you can get a DUI for driving vehicles such as snowmobiles, ATV's, golf carts, or even electric wheelchairs. Noteably, Wygle himself apparently told a police officer his barstool on wheels "can reach a speed of 38 mph but that he was traveling only about 20 mph when he wrecked."

As for whether he was under the influence at the time, Wygle told an officer "he'd had about 15 beers before the wreck" but refused to take a blood-alcohol test.