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Wheelchair DUI: Man Caught Drunk on Stolen Motorized Chair

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on June 13, 2012 6:57 AM

A Michigan man’s seventh DUI arrest didn’t take place behind the wheel. Instead, cops found him allegedly drunk behind the joystick of a motorized wheelchair that wasn’t even his.

Raymond Kulma, 55, of Sterling Heights, Mich., failed several sobriety tests in his alleged wheelchair DUI in the Detroit suburb of Utica, police told WDIV-TV. His blood alcohol level was 0.241%, more than three times Michigan’s legal limit of 0.08%.

Kulma is a repeat DUI offender, but police were initially called to investigate a separate incident that was also likely fueled by alcohol.

A neighbor called police after getting into a fight with Raymond Kulma before his wheelchair DUI arrest. Kulma apparently started the fight by calling his neighbor names.

"He threw a punch so I threw one back," the neighbor told WDIV. "But then I left, and police found him on my wheelchair."

Kulma's wheelchair DUI is technically called OWI, or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, in Michigan.

Under Michigan law, a person with at least two prior OWI convictions, regardless of how old those convictions are, faces a felony OWI charge for any subsequent OWI arrests.

Kulma has six prior drunken-driving charges: one in Florida from 1984, and five others in Michigan from 1985 through 1998, according to WDIV. His license has been suspended four times, and revoked twice.

If convicted of allegedly operating a motorized wheelchair while intoxicated, Raymond Kulma could face a fine of between $500 and $5,000, along with prison time. He also faces yet another possible driver license suspension.

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