Cedar Rapids OWI Lawyer: Motor Vehicle Defined

A motor vehicle is a many splendored thing in a Cedar Rapids or Iowa City OWI (DUI) prosecution. As the court in State v. Peters, 525 N.W.2d 854, 857 (Iowa 1994)(citing Iowa Code § 321.1(2)(a); State v. Russell, 508 N.W.2d 697, 698 (Iowa 1993) (per curiam)), found:

"A motor vehicle is a

‘vehicle which is self-propelled, but not including vehicles known as trackless trolleys which are propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires and are not operated upon rails.’

A ‘vehicle,’ with certain exceptions not applicable here, is

‘every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway.’

Iowa Code 321.1(1).”


Peters, 525 N.W.2d at 857 (citing Iowa Code 321J.1(1).

Snowmobiles, lawn tractors, ATVs, and any other motorized vehicle you can think of count for purposes of drunk driving prosecution-- on or off road, since neither a public highway nor roadway is required for OWI prosecution in Iowa.

In Peters, the Court held that a snowmobile operated on a frozen river falls within the definition of operation for purposes of Iowa’s drunk driving statute.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for OWI (DUI) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, or other Iowa community, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC at 319-389-1889.

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