Tuesday, 15. April 2014
Bobby Khaoone, 25, was arrested in the city of Austin during a late-night joyride in the wee hours of Sunday morning. According to the police report, Khaoone was driving the battery-powered go-kart in the street when he was almost struck by a passing squad car. Khaoone was stopped by the officer and eventually booked on charges of gross misdemeanor DWI, driving after license revocation, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Authorities also seized the Razor go-kart under vehicle seizure laws.
Khaoone told officers he was driving the go-kart in the street because he was celebrating the Laotian new year.
This case is very interesting, especially when you compare it to last year’s ruling about DWIs on a Segway. In that case, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that a Segway was not to be considered a motorized vehicle in the eyes of a law because it is intended to be used on sidewalks and other pedestrian walkways.
The dissenting judge said the Segway should be classified as a motor vehicle because it is not operated by human power, but the majority cited a 2009 case where a man was acquitted when he was found operating a motorized scooter over the legal limit as evidence that a device is not classified as a vehicle simply because it operates on electrical power.
Interestingly enough, your average Segway has a top speed of 12 miles per hour. According to Razor’s website, their standard go-kart also has a top speed of 12 miles per hour. Khaoone certainly has grounds to challenge the legality of the DWI, but the fact that he was joyriding in the middle of the street (and almost got run over by a cop, no less) won’t help his cause.
Related source: Pioneer Press