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What is a "Vehicle" Under Ohio's DUI / OVI Law? Is a Segway a "Vehicle"?

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Ohio DUI / Ohio OVI law defines vehicle as "every device, including a motorized bicycle, in, upon, or by which any person or property may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except that "vehicle" does not include any motorized wheelchair, any electric personal assistive mobility device, any device that is moved by power collected from overhead electric trolley wires, or that is used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks, or any device, other than a bicycle, that is moved by human power." R.C. 4511.01(A).

It is paradoxical that devices moved by human power are exempt for Ohio's DUI / OVI laws except for bicycles. Therefore, it is illegal to operate a bicycle under the influence, but not a unicycle or tricycle.

Effective October 24, 2002, Ohio law exempted the Segway™ and other electric personal assistive devices from the definition of "vehicle".

Vehicle-Statutory definition

RC 4511.01(A) defines "vehicle" as

every device, including a motorized bicycle, in, upon, or by which any person or property may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except that "vehicle" does not include any motorized wheelchair, any electric personal assistive mobility device, any device that is moved by power collected from overhead electric trolley wires, or that is used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks, or any device, other than a bicycle, that is moved by human power.

This definition contains a double negative-which although difficult to comprehend, provides the reason that "streetcar" and "trackless trolley" must be mentioned separately in the general OVI prohibition. Further, it exempts devices moved by human power except bicycles-thereby making it illegal to operate a bicycle under the influence, but not a unicycle, tricycle, wheelbarrow, or shopping cart. 2002 Am. Sub. S.B. 231, effective October 24, 2002, exempted the Segway™ and other electric personal assistive devices from the definition of "vehicle."