An interesting case has concluded in Wisconsin. A court has recently ruled that a man who was driving a golf cart inside a gated community while drunk and was involved in an accident could be convicted of charges of operating while intoxicated. The man had crashed into a tree while driving the cart, injuring himself and his passenger. The accident eventually led to two criminal convictions.
However, the man appealed his convictions claiming that they should be dismissed because the state traffic laws did not apply to his gated community. The man was inside the gated community at the time of the accident and people who are not residents are required to gain permission before entering. Although police occasionally patrol the community streets, speeding tickets are said to be handled by the community’s private security force and are heard before the condominium board.
The appeals court did not agree, determining that the streets inside the community are public roads, used routinely by non-residents who are traveling to the golf course or clubhouse, by people visiting residents, and by mail and newspaper carriers. A blood test given to the man after the accident showed his blood alcohol concentration to be at 0.206. He was convicted of causing injury by operating while intoxicated and also causing injury by operating a motor vehicle with a prohibited alcohol level.
This accident could have been much more serious than it turned out to be and it underscores the potential seriousness of driving while intoxicated in any type of motorized vehicle. His passenger, although not suffering life-threatening injuries, was injured and may believe his injuries were caused by the negligence of the now-convicted man. Seeking financial compensation for this accident could help him take care of any medical bills sustained by injuries received from this Wisconsin accident and could also help with reimbursement for any other damages suffered from the collision.
Source: Walworth County Today, “Court: Drunken-driving laws apply in gated community — Walworth County Today,” Kevin Murphy, May 7, 2012