Suppose you’re a golf enthusiast who plays in North Carolina as a full-time resident or on vacation. In that case, you might be familiar with some of the state’s most popular courses, such as Pinehurst or Eagle Point. Many spend the day on a golf course with friends or on a date while enjoying festive drinks and food.
Perhaps you were unaware that police could arrest you for drunk driving while operating a golf cart. What if you’re on private land? Or, what if the course you’re playing on is open to the public for use? The details of your situation may determine whether police might intervene and take you into custody for drinking while driving a golf cart.
Are you accessing connecting roads along the course in a golf cart?
No two golf courses have the same design. Many include paths that connect with public roadways, which you might have to use to get from one side of the course to the other. While North Carolina law does not expressly prohibit you from imbibing alcohol while operating a golf cart, you might still be subject to a DUI arrest if the police stop you on a public road or they go to a private resort to handle a situation.
A golf cart DUI will still appear on your driving record
Even if you were in a golf cart at the time, a DUI conviction will be recorded as part of your driving history. Penalties under conviction (which vary by state) often include sentencing similar to a drunk driving conviction in a “regular” motor vehicle. Such penalties might include substantial fines, driver’s license suspension or jail time.
Your rights are the same regardless of your mode of transportation
North Carolina police can’t go around arresting people for no reason. They must have reasonable cause to stop you and determine probable cause to charge you for a suspected DUI. Whether you’re in a car or on a golf cart, if a personal rights violation occurs, you may have grounds to request a case dismissal or challenge a portion of all evidence gathered for incrimination purposes.
The best way to avoid a DUI arrest on a golf cart is to abstain from alcohol when you’re planning on driving one. If an arrest occurs, however, it’s best to remain calm and cooperate and know your rights and how to defend them in court.