Hopping on your Segway after you've had a few drinks is not driving drunk under Minnesota law -- because a Segway is not a motor vehicle, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled.
A man was stopped by police Feb. 4 and charged with driving while impaired after the officer saw his Segway drifting twice across the center line in the road, according to the court ruling made public Tuesday, Jan. 22.
His blood alcohol level was 0.19, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, the ruling said.
Mark A. Greenman, 48, of Hamel said Tuesday that he was pleased with the judges' decision tossing the charges against him.
"I think the court got it right," he said. "I think that if people want to take the Segway to the bar, they can do that now. And I think they always should have been able to."
Greenman, an employment attorney practicing in Minneapolis, said he was playing in a pool tournament at Inn Kahoots bar in Hamel, less than a mile from his home.
He was on his way home, on his Segway, when the Medina police officer stopped him.
It was not the first time Greenman had been pulled over while on his Segway. The district court also dismissed DWI charges in a 2010 case against him.
He was intoxicated again while driving the device March 16, according to court records. Prosecutors charged him after that incident with first-degree driving while impaired. That case is scheduled for a hearing Feb. 20. Greenman waived his speedy trial rights pending the Court of Appeals decision. His attorney in that case did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
In making its Tuesday ruling, the Court of Appeals relied on a previous decision that involved James Anthony Brown, an intoxicated disabled man driving his motorized scooter on a Grand Rapids sidewalk in July 2009.