Drunk Tampa man arrested for riding shopping cart at Walmart

tampa-shopping cart-dui.bmpFrom the channel 10 news team website, a Tampa man is facing felony charges for a joyride in a “borrowed” Walmart electric motor cart…

Timothy Carr, 48, had a few drinks and decided that he wanted to spice up his night. His night ended in jail where he was arrested for disorderly intoxication, felony retail theft and DUI for taking a motorized shopping cart for a spin…

Police were called out to a Tampa Walmart last Sunday in reference to an intoxicated man. When the officers arrived, they found the suspect in a shopping cart driving through the aisles and knocking over merchandise. He was seen drinking alcohol from a bottle he swiped from the store.

Legal Analysis

The man was arrested for retail theft after he admitted he had no money for the alcohol he had stolen. While the amount taken was not enough to be charged with a felony grand theft he was still charged with a felony because he had multiple petit theft priors.

Florida statute 812.014(3)(c) deals with a case like Timothy Carrs. While he stole a misdemeanor amount of goods, he was still charged with a third degree felony. This is because under the above statute, he can be charged with a felony theft if he had two or more prior retail theft convictions.pinellas-dui.bmp

DUI on a scooter?!

As a Saint Petersburg DUI attorney, clients are often amazed about what the law considers a vehicle. A Driving Under the Influence charge can come about from a motor vehicle, lawn mower, truck, scooter, golf cart and even a bicycle! Florida State Statute 320-01 goes into the definition of a “motor Vehicle” as follows:

320.01 Definitions, general.–As used in the Florida Statutes, except as otherwise provided, the term:
(1) ”Motor vehicle” means:
(a) An automobile, motorcycle, truck, trailer, semitrailer, truck tractor and semitrailer combination, or any other vehicle operated on the roads of this state, used to transport persons or property, and propelled by power other than muscular power, but the term does not include traction engines, road rollers, special mobile equipment as defined in s. 316.003(48), vehicles that run only upon a track, bicycles, swamp buggies, or mopeds.
(b) A recreational vehicle-type unit primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use, which either has its own motive power or is mounted on or drawn by another vehicle. Recreational vehicle-type units, when traveling on the public roadways of this state, must comply with the length and width provisions of s. 316.515, as that section may hereafter be amended.

At first glance this statute appears to not allow for bicycle or electric motor scooter DUIs. However, a closer look at the Florida Driving Under the Influence statute reveals that you merely need to be in actual physical control of a VEHICLE on a public road and not a MOTOR vehicle. Hence the Defendant in the above article could be charged with the scooter DUI as long as he was on a public road for at least part of his joyride. Our prediction? The drinking and driving charge won’t stick as there is scant evidence that the suspect was ever on a public road as well as the fact that jury members in most Florida counties often do not like to convict their fellow citizens for non automobile drinking and driving cases!

Have you or a loved one been charged with a DUI or a retail theft charge? Then call the Pinellas DUI lawyers of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. today! These former prosecutors are experienced trial attorneys.

The St. Petersburg Criminal Defense and Personal Injury lawyers of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. handle all cases throughout the Gulf Coast of Florida including Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota and Polk counties.

Call 727.286.6141 or hit the contact button to speak directly with your attorney. Blake & Dorsten, P.A…when your case matters!

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