Can You Get A DUI On A Skateboard? (Answered)

police escorting a man in handcuffs

You will most likely not be given a DUI for riding a skateboard while under the influence. That being said, there is a clause within the Vehicle Code that allows for police officers to charge you with a misdemeanor for operating a skateboard while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What does that mean? You will get a charge of public intoxication on your record and be fined, which will vary from state to state and country to country. Keep in mind, these charges will not affect your car insurance. However, it is important to note that you CAN be charged with a DUI for operating a motorized or electric skateboard while under the influence.

Being convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) will greatly impact and disrupt every aspect of your life. Your license can be suspended or taken away completely, you can get a fine of a minimum of $1,000, and you can even be sentenced to prison.

But can you get a DUI if you’re not driving a car? What if it’s a skateboard? In this article, we will dive into more about this so that you can make the right choices when skateboarding.

Reasons You Should Not Drink And Skateboard

  • Intoxicated driving-related accidents don’t always only involve automobiles; it’s completely possible to get into an accident if you’re intoxicated on your bike or skateboard, too.
  • You are at a greater risk of falling due to lack of balance and if you fall in the path of a vehicle, there’s potential for you to get seriously injured. This is also true on a bicycle.
  • If you do cause an accident on your skateboard, you could face charges for public intoxication and for causing harm to others.

Instead, call a cab or Uber, ask a friend to call a taxi for you, or plan on having a designated driver amongst your friends. The consequences of what could happen if you skateboard intoxicated are way worse than a $10 or $20 cab fare.

Is A Skateboard Viewed As A Road Vehicle?

What is a vehicle when looking at the Vehicle Code? A vehicle is defined as a device that can move, propel, and be drawn on a highway. However, there are a few exceptions. A device moved by human power and does not have a motor, and those that are exclusively on rails or tracks are not classified as vehicles.

With that in mind, the answer is no, you cannot be given a DUI for riding a skateboard under the influence. Unless of course, the skateboard has a motor or is powered by electricity.

Just because a skateboard is not confined by the Vehicle Code, does not mean that you will not face severe consequences for operating your board under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What Do Lawyers Say About Getting A DUI On A Skateboard?

  • Patrick O. Earl, DUI/DWI Attorney in Moses Lake

“You have to be driving a motor vehicle and the statute explains what the means. A skateboard or bike isn’t a motor vehicle.”

  • Scott W. Lawrence,  DUI/DWI Attorney in Seattle

“You can only get a DUI if you are operating a motor vehicle. However, it is almost certainly a violation of your probation to consume alcohol.”

  • Lucas McWethy, Criminal Defense Attorney in Lynnwood

“DUI is specific to a motor vehicle (like BUI is specific to a watercraft). However, there are other things that the Officer may arrest you for such as public intoxication, disorderly conduct or if you are on a public roadway, they may arrest you for DUI and let the prosecutor decide what the proper charge is. These would all likely violate probation for a prior DUI as would consuming alcohol (depending on the specific judge’s parameters).”

What Happens If You Are Still Detained?

Skateboarding under the influence is not a misdemeanor but public intoxication is, and so there is the chance that you can spend the night in jail. Well, the drunk tank.

That being said, this will also vary from state to state. In some states, you will be charged $250 while in others, you can be charged as well as face jail time (if your skateboard is electric or motorized) the same as if you were driving an automobile. Usually, that means 30 days in jail for your first conviction and up to 120 days for your second.

These charges are just as severe from electric and motorized skateboards as they are in an automobile. However, each state within the United States can write its own laws and guidelines for such cases. 

Given that each person and situation is unique, their circumstances are unique as well. No single case is exactly the same as another, making it that much more important to know the DUI/DWI laws within your State.


Just because you’re not driving a car, doesn’t mean that you can’t be arrested for DUI. The same goes for riding a bike or skateboard. If you are caught riding your skateboard under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could face severe penalties depending on your state’s laws.

It is always best to play it safe and sober up before getting on your board. If you have been drinking, call a cab or ask a friend to drive you around. It is not worth the risk of getting injured or facing charges and jail time.

Be smart and stay safe! Remember, skateboarding is a fun activity but it should always be done sober.

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