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DWI Conviction Reversed For Disabled Scooter Rider

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has reversed the drunken driving conviction of a disabled man who was intoxicated while riding his three-wheeled mobility scooter.

The appeals court ruled Monday that scooters don’t count as motor vehicles as they’re defined by state statutes.

James Anthony Brown Jr. drove his electric scooter on the sidewalks of Grand Rapids to a car dealership one day in 2009. His blood alcohol level tested at 0.17 percent, just over double the legal limit for driving a car.

Because of the way the traffic regulations are worded, the appeals court says, a scooter counts as a wheelchair, not as a motor vehicle that can legally be driven on a highway. So, it says, Brown counted as a pedestrian, not a driver.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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