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There's no DUI on Segway in Minnesota

UPI News Service, 01/22/2013 

There's no such thing as drunken driving while on a Segway in Minnesota, the state Court of Appeals said in a ruling posted Tuesday.

The appellate court said the battery-powered, self-balancing, two-wheeled personal transit machine simply is not a motor vehicle, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

That means a drunken driving charge against Mark A. Greenman, 48, of Hamel was tossed out of court even though his blood-alcohol level was found to be 0.19, or more than twice the legal limit.

Greenman was stopped by Medina city police Feb. 4 and charged with driving while impaired after an officer spotted his Segway drifting twice across the center line in the road, court documents showed.

The court's ruling sat well with Greenman, a lawyer who told the Pioneer Press "the court got it right."

"I think that if people want to take the Segway to the bar, they can do that now," said Greenman, who also has another similar case pending against him. "And I think they always should have been able to."

The ruling by a three-judge panel was split 2-1.

"Had the Legislature intended to prohibit drivers from operating Segways while under the influence of alcohol, the Legislature could have included a specific provision proscribing that conduct, as it has done in so many other instances," Judge Margaret H. Chutich wrote for herself and Judge Natalie E. Hudson.

Judge Roger Klaphake dissented, contending "vehicle" as defined in traffic regulations includes every self-propelled device that transports people or property on a highway, and the Segway meets that definition.

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