Georgia Man Facing DUI Charges for Operating Motorized Wheelchair Under the Influence
A Conyers, Georgia resident was recently charged with DUI for operating his motorized wheelchair while under the influence of alcohol.
Georgia’s DUI law applies to the operation of “any moving vehicle” while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Reportedly, the 48-year-old Georgia resident was cited on Friday, October 16th, for public drunkenness and DUI after he hit and damaged some plants with his motorized wheelchair while moving around inside a Kroger. Police were called to the scene after witnesses reported that Mitchell had been hit by an SUV. Upon arrival, law enforcement discovered that the reported victim had backed into some plants and then into the Kroger’s storefront.
Although the wheelchair operator was in fact hit by the SUV, the driver insisted that the purported victim’s intoxication led to him to drive into the vehicle’s path. Police later confirmed that the wheelchair-bound man was, in fact, under the influence.
The operator told police that had taken a Valium – a common anti-anxiety medication with strong effects – an anti-depressant called trazadone, and “consumed a pint of alcohol.” Police added in their incident report that he smelled like alcohol.
He agreed to a breathalyzer test on the scene, although the results were redacted from the incident report. He was also transported to a local hospital and cited for the incident. Police also seized his electric wheelchair “for safe keeping.”
The motorized wheelchair driver reportedly went to the local Kroger to get a refill on some of his medication. He added that “I was out of medication … so I had me a drink.”
A similar incident occurred in Florida recently when a 54-year-old resident of Florida, who uses a motorized wheelchair to get around, was arrested after witnesses reported he was blocking a pedestrian bridge with his wheelchair and appeared to be highly intoxicated. The arrest was his third DUI in a decade.