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Golf carts, LSVs and drunk driving – what you need to know

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2023 | DUI Defense |

In parts of North Carolina, particularly in retirement communities and beach towns, golf carts and low-speed vehicles (LSVs) are everywhere. They’re also widely used in large resorts to allow people to get to secluded bungalows, restaurants and other locations on the property.

While golf carts are typically intended to remain on golf courses, LSVs, which can go faster, are treated more like other vehicles under North Carolina law. Unlike a golf cart, an LSV has a vehicle identification number (VIN). They require more safety features and can only be operated by those with a valid driver’s license.  Unlike golf carts, they’re regulated by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

What many people don’t realize is that you can be charged with a DUI or DWI while driving either a golf cart or LSV. You can also face arrest if you’re operating one of these vehicles with an open container of alcohol inside.

Plan ahead so that you don’t drive under the influence

Just as people going to a restaurant, bar or party where they plan to drink are advised to have a designated driver who won’t be drinking, the same is true if you need to get to your location via a golf cart or LSV. If you drive it to lunch, for example, and then have a few drinks, you should either ask a non-imbibing friend to take the wheel when you depart or leave the vehicle there and get it later or ask someone else to return it.

While driving a golf cart or LSV while intoxicated may seem harmless and even funny, it can be dangerous, both to those inside and to anyone who happens to be nearby – particularly pedestrians. You can end up being charged with offenses beyond a DUI or DWI if you injure someone or worse.

If you’re facing charges for driving a golf cart or LSV under the influence, it’s critical that you take the matter as seriously as you would if you had been pulled over in your car, because the law doesn’t differentiate. Having legal guidance can help you protect your rights and present your case.