In any California driving under the influence (DUI) case, the District Attorney must be able to establish that the suspected offender was driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes the District Attorney’s establishing that the suspected offender was indeed driving a “vehicle.” In many CA DUI/DWI cases, a police officer did not actually observe the suspected offender driving a vehicle. In such instances, the District Attorney has a difficult time proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual was actually driving drunk. An experienced California DUI Defense Attorney can often raise reasonable doubt in such cases and get clients a “not guilty” ruling.
As defined by the California Vehicle Code, the term “vehicle” is “a device that is self-propelled.” This includes all self-propelled automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, mopeds, and scooters. Note that while bicycles and horses are not considered to be “vehicles” under California’s vehicle and drunk driving laws, operating or riding one while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is addressed in other statutes and can result in severe penalties being imposed.
The bottom line is if the District Attorney can not show that a vehicle was actually driven, then any potential Calilfornia DUI/DWI conviction flies out the window.