Hot take: Golf carts are an epidemic. For some reason, some communities behind gates, beach people, and other such self-contained wealthy communities have decided that driving golf carts on roads and sidewalks is somehow not an insane thing to do. Despite the growing leniency toward golf carts, two things are still very illegal to do in a golf cart: being drunk and driving it on the interstate. This Florida woman must have forgotten about those laws.
Florida woman arrested in a golf cart on the interstate
CarScoops reports that 58-year-old Diane Hawk got pinched in Brevard County, Florida, for driving a golf cart on I-95 while being under the influence of alcohol.
After a series of reports of a golf cart on I-95 from other drivers, police responded to find just what had been reported. According to Fox 35, the officers found a semi-truck on the shoulder with a golf cart nearby. The truck driver told people that she saw the driver of the golf cart barefoot and appearing to fall asleep at the wheel. The truck driver forced Hawk off the road and took the keys.
When the police spoke with Hawk, she responded confidently, telling officers that it was legal to drive a golf cart on I-95 “because she saw it on the news,” the report stated.
Aside from her slurring her words and appearing visibly drunk, the officers smelled liquor on her breath and found a bottle of Jack Daniels in the cart. Hawk refused to submit herself to a field sobriety test.
She was booked into the Brevard County Jail for disorderly intoxication and resisting officers without violence.
Is it legal to drive golf carts on the road?
Like many other driving laws, golf cart laws vary from state to state. Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, and Rhode Island have outlawed driving golf carts on public roads. New York being New York, took it a step further by not just ticketing for this offense but will arrest people for driving them on sidewalks or even parking lots.
However, some states allow these glorified Power Wheels on the roads with real cars. It should be no surprise that Florida is one of these states, but so are California and Texas.
California requires golf carts to weigh under 1,300 lbs, and only two people are permitted to ride, including the driver. Also, windshields are required.
Florida has restrictions, too. In Florida, you can drive a cart on public roads with a speed limit of under 25 mph as long as you’re at least 14 years old. The cart must be DMV-registered and insured. Plus, Florida allows golf cart usage between sunrise and sunset only.
You may notice how difficult to enforce these rules are. As long as you are over 14 and it’s light out, you can drive your golf cart on public roads in Florida up to 35 mph. While there is a lot of wiggle room, the interstate is still pretty far out of bounds, even by Florida standards.
‘Can you’ and ‘should you’ are two very different things
Just because you can drive a cart on public roads in some states definitely doesn’t mean you should. Obviously, Hawk’s inebriation makes this situation a bit more dangerous than normal golf cart scenarios, but driving these plastic buggies around with real cars on the road is clearly a bad idea for all parties involved.