Client's Choice Awards 2017
Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
Avvo Rating badge
Denver Bar Association
Client's Choice 2014
The American Trial Lawyers Association
American Bar Association
Colorado Bar Association

DUI on a Skateboard or Bicycle? What is the Difference Between a “Motor Vehicle” and “Vehicle?”

In Colorado there is a notable difference between a “vehicle” and “motor vehicle” for DUI purposes and collateral consequences at the DMV level regarding a person’s driver’s license.

It’s illegal for any person to drive a “vehicle” in Colorado while under the influence (DUI) or while impaired (DWAI) by the consumption of alcohol or drugs or both. The definition of vehicle is very broad, to say the least. A summary of the definition of “vehicle” is as follows:

  1. a “device” capable of moving itself;
  2. or that can be moved on wheels or “endless” tracks;
  3. which includes a bicycle, an electronic “personal assistive mobility device”;
  4. the definition does not include a wheelchair, a snowmobile, an off-highway vehicle, a tractor (farm), or an “implement of husbandry” used in agriculture;
  5. and does not include a device used only on stationary rails or tracks or a device that moves through the air primarily.

Thus arguably, the definition could include a skateboard or a man-powered scooter or similar device. Clearly the definition is subjective.

On the other hand, the Express Consent Statute applies only to “motor vehicles”. Thus driver’s license consequences should only apply for DUI or DWAI offenses which result from the operation of a motor vehicle, not just a vehicle.

A summary of the definition of “motor vehicle” in the context of DUI/DWAI is as follows:

  1. wheelchairs and vehicles moved only by human power are excluded;
  2. it includes off-highway vehicles and farm tractors that are not otherwise classified as a motor vehicle;
  3. a self-propelled vehicle (or low-speed electric vehicle) that is used for travel on the highway and transports persons and property.

It’s important to note that a vehicle must be operable or “reasonably capable of being operable” in order for a defendant to be convicted of an alcohol-related offense. This is determined by whether or not a temporary condition can be fixed.

Contact Colorado Drunk Driving Lawyer Monte Robbins today for a free case evaluation regarding your Colorado DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, DUI drugs, or UDD case at 303-355-5148 or 970-301-5541.

Client Reviews
"An excellent lawyer choice for my son who was charged with driving while his license was revoked. DMV had mistakenly sent (3) letters of revocation to the incorrect address, so I hired Monty to prove that my son never knew his license was revoked. Monty kept me informed at all times as to what was happening and what he doing to prove my son's innocence in this matter. We were to appear in court on 29 March 2012 and Monte informed us on 27 March 2012, that the case had been dismissed!!! Monte charged a fair, flat rate for what he did in this matter and should the need arise to hire a lawyer or to recommend a lawyer, I would not hesitate to give Monte's name.” Linda
"I consulted three other attorneys on my traffic offense in Colorado and none of them thought I could beat it. Then I consulted with Monte Robbins. He not only relieved my warrant without my presence in Colorado, but he got my habitual driving offense reduced to an infraction. I was up against the wall on this case but thanks to Monte miracles are possible. I have hired my share of attorneys and Monte Robbins has produced the best results for me yet. After being without my driving privileges for ten years I paid a small fine and am legal with a clean record. I Highly recommend this attorney." Steve
"I hired Monte J. Robbins to represent me. He gave 110% to my case never rushed me off the phone, quick to gather all information regarding my case. Monte is very knowledgeable and helped me out a lot. He kept me informed every step of the way through my case. I was always able to get a hold of him for any questions i had. The outcome of my case was way better then i had expected. Monte did a excellent job on my case and I would highly recommend him to anyone. Monte won my case and I am confident that he can do the same for anyone else." Jeremy