The Motor Vehicle as an Element of a DWI Case

In a New York DWI case, the prosecutor must also prove the fact that the accused was in fact operating a “motor vehicle.”  If it cannot be shown that a motor vehicle was operated, a DWI drunk driving case will not stand up in court.

In New York, “Motor Vehicle” is defined in Section 125 of the Vehicle and Traffic Laws.  “Every vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway which is propelled by any power other than muscular power” with a few specific exception.  This includes automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, and motorized scooters.  Bicycles and horses are not motor vehicles under New York’s drinking and driving laws.

The Other Elements of a DWI Charge